The fee was a last minute addition by Oklahoma legislators that would have charged $100 per year per electric car and $30 per year for hybrids. The court compared it to another tax on cigarettes, which it also deemed unconstitutional. However, there's a significant difference between the two would-be fees. The cigarette taxed aimed to fuel the state with about $215 million toward its annual budget, whereas the electric car tax may have only amounted to about $500,000.
Of course, over a longer period of time, an electric car fee would continue to generate more revenue, as adoption will increase significantly year-over-year.
Lawmakers looked at this as a great opportunity to build up some much-needed funding for construction and road repairs. They argued that electric vehicle drivers aren't contributing to infrastructure since this type of revenue comes directly from the gas tax. Executive director of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors, Bobby Stem, representing road builders, shared: