Utah to launch miles driven fee for alternative-fuel cars

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State officials in Utah have announced plans to launch a road-user fee program expected to raise money for highways that could someday replace gas taxes.

Utah would become the second state to implement the program Jan. 1 where volunteer drivers would pay a 1.5 cent per mile fee in exchange for getting charged less for a special registration fee the state implemented for electric car owners, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The program is modeled after a similar program in Oregon and is available to the 51,000 electric and hybrid registered vehicle owners in the state who largely escaped the gasoline tax, officials said.

At the start of the new year, the state will charge electric car owners, plug-in hybrids and other hybrid and electric vehicle owners an extra registration fee that will increase in future years, state officials said. The program is expected to save drivers money as it will charge no more than the fees and less if mileage charges end up being less.

The new system will help work out kinks, questions and problems the state will face if it someday expands this idea to help replace gasoline taxes, transportation officials said.


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