Wisconsin Republicans vote to raise electric vehicle registration fees

A transportation funding plan passed by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee would raise registration fees for electric vehicles to $175 a year, up from $100.

Associated Press

June 21, 2023

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A charging system is plugged into the front of an electric vehicle, with more electric vehicles charging in the background.

(Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislative finance committee has voted to raise electric vehicle registration fees to $175 a year, up from $100 a year.

Registering an electric vehicle in Wisconsin is already more expensive than registering a gas vehicle or hybrid, which cost $85 and $75 a year respectively.

Before the vote late on June 13, Democrats raised concerns that the added fees would discourage people from buying electric vehicles.

“I don’t want to disincentivize people from making that choice,” said Democratic Rep. Evan Goyke.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that the increased fees will bring in an additional $3.3 million to the state’s transportation fund over the next two years.

The GOP-backed spending plan for the Department of Transportation also includes a measure to increase funding for public transit by 2% and switch to drawing the money from the state’s general fund, which supports a range of programs including schools, local governments and Medicaid. The transportation fund would continue to pay for expenses such as roads, airports, harbors and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

State funding for public transit has come out of the transportation fund since 1973. Democratic members of the finance committee worried that the measure would endanger transit funding by forcing it to compete with other priorities in future budgets.

“This budget is setting up the death knell for public transit, and it’s very cleverly disguised with a nice 2% increase,” said Democratic Sen. Kelda Roys.

The committee is expected to complete the budget by the end of June, at which point Democratic Gov. Tony Evers can amend it with partial vetoes or send it back to the Legislature for revisions.

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