A number of states are exploring new fees for hybrid and electric car owners in order to compensate for the loss of revenue in gas taxes on fuel-efficient vehicles. The proposal is opposed by those who view the new fees as antithetical to one of the touted benefits of owning a hybrid: savings.

Boosting taxes “for people who want to use less gas is at odds with policies that are trying to make it easier for people who want to adopt clean and efficient technologies,” asserted Genevieve Cullen, vice president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a Washington-based industry group.

But those who support the policy say it is a way to ensure that all drivers have a stake in maintaining the roads on which they drive.

Fox News reports:

Gas taxes are the most vital source of transportation funding, making up nearly 40 percent of all state highway revenues and more than 90 percent at the federal level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But those revenues haven’t kept up with rising construction costs, falling 41 percent in real value at the federal level since they were last increased 18 years ago, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The same non-partisan research group estimates that state and local gas-tax revenue fell 7 percent to $38 billion between 2004 and 2010.

Sales of electric and hybrid cars have soared over the last 10 years, observes Auto News. Last year, Toyota Motor Corp. sold 236,659 Prius hybrids, a 73-percent increase from 2011. Likewise, General Motors doubled its sale of hybrids last year.

But the increase in the sales of these vehicles is being blamed for the decrease in gasoline tax revenues. As a result, at least 10 states have either considered or passed legislation to collect fees from owners of hybrid or electric cars.

Some opponents of the fees on hybrids and electric cars are are instead proposing a taxation system based on miles traveled.

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