Utah’s ‘road usage charge’ gives a road map for future tax on green drivers

But at a recent meeting of the Legislature’s Transportation Interim Committee at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, lawmakers heard a report on the promising 2020 initiative to recoup costs on state roads that may be the blueprint for a new statewide tax on electric and hybrid vehicles.

The road usage charge program, a voluntary pilot program that started in January 2020, allows users to pay based on miles driven using a device in their car. Users are given the option to pay 1.5 cents per mile traveled or an annual flat fee of $120 for electric vehicles or $20 for gas hybrids. Per-mile payment stops when the accumulated total for the year reaches the flat fee, so customers can pay less if they drive less.

Participants are joining the 3,700 members at a rate of one new member a day, according to Tiffany Pocock, project director at the Department of Transportation.