Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN) is considering raising the $100 fee that EV owners pay each year to $300 as part of a plan to help fund the state’s proposed transportation infrastructure bill.
Lee said he will not raise the gas tax or add fully tolled roads, according to the Associated Press.
“We want to make sure there’s a fair fee for everyone,” Lee said, noting that EV owners do not pay the gas tax that helps fund statewide highway and road maintenance. “We’ll figure out what that number is and move forward.”
Tennessee Transportation Commissioner Butch Eley said the proposed $300 annual fee for EV owners would equate to the gasoline tax non-EV drivers pay each year.
“There’s nothing, I think, more fair than people paying for what they use,” Eley said.
Lee’s push to improve Tennessee’s infrastructure includes a five-year building plan that’s up around $1.7 billion, in addition to plans to increase transportation workers’ pay.
The plan follows a national push to address infrastructure needs across the United States. President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021, which included increased funding for roads, bridges, broadband expansion, green energy initiatives, water projects, and more.