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Tarrant County commissioner says electric vehicles must pay their fair share to use roads

Gary Fickes says the main problem stems from the gas tax. Drivers in Texas currently pay 20 cents per gallon in taxes -- and electric vehicles don’t need that gas.

DALLAS — Tarrant County commissioner Gary Fickes knows electric vehicles (EVs) are here to stay and you’ve got to charge them somewhere.  

His question is how leaders in Washington and Austin will get those vehicles to pay their fair share for using the roads.

“The real question is, for the states and the people who maintain these roads, electric vehicles currently don’t pay anything to drive on our roads,” the Republican said on Inside Texas Politics.

Fickes says the main problem stems from the gas tax. Drivers in Texas currently pay 20 cents per gallon in taxes. And that money helps to fund road construction and maintenance. 

Electric vehicles don’t need that gas, so they don’t pay that tax. But they’re still using the roads.

Watch the segment below:

Fickes says it might be time for the Texas Legislature to mandate a tax on electric vehicles. But the very word “tax” has long been anathema to lawmakers. 

Texas hasn’t even raised its gas tax in nearly 30 years. At a minimum, Fickes says the state must figure out a form of payment for electric vehicles. 

The U.S. government is providing nearly $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of EV charging stations. And during round one, the state of Texas is poised to receive the largest chunk of money, more than $60 Million. 

“We’re going to put in all these charging stations, who’s going to maintain them? Who’s going to own them? It’s an 80%, 20% split on putting them in, where the feds are paying 80, the state’s paying 20. But who maintains them? Where are those dollars coming from,” he asked.

   

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