George Riley: Let’s tap the brakes on Florida’s electric vehicle tax

Legislators should tap the brakes on any proposal to create one of the highest EV taxes in the country.

The state budget is finalized, the Legislative Session is done, and lawmakers are heading home.

Fortunately, one of the bills that won’t become law this year is the electric vehicle tax — and that’s a good thing for Floridians.

Florida is a national leader in the electric vehicle (EV) space, with nearly 100,000 electric vehicles on our roadways joined by countless other hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. However, a proposal approved by the Florida Senate last week would have created a punitive tax on EV owners, requiring families to pay $200 every year to register their vehicle with the state.

This new tax would have been among the highest in the country — double that of California.

Beyond that, this legislation would ignore the more than 100 million visitors Florida welcomes every year, many of them driving EVs. It would be levied ONLY against people who call Florida home. As a state that prides itself on a low-tax, business-friendly environment, this is a proposal that simply doesn’t make sense.

The reality is that electric vehicles provide significant cost savings for families, saving thousands of dollars in lifetime gas and maintenance costs. The EV industry is also a massive job creator: Between 2021 and 2022, Florida saw a 28% increase in EV-related jobs.

With the current state of the economy, unpredictable gas prices, and rising inflation and interest rates, now is not the time to raise taxes on EV owners. That doesn’t mean we should completely neglect the idea of some sort of reasonable fees on EVs in the future — but before they’re implemented, such proposals should take a broader look at how our state funds its transportation infrastructure. Dedicating a portion of those funds to electric vehicle charging infrastructure would also help ensure that the future drivers who pay the fee benefit from it, too.

This Session, legislators recognized the importance of electric vehicles when it comes to saving taxpayer dollars and embracing new innovative technologies. The overwhelming passage of SB 284 this Session represents an important step forward, empowering state procurement officials to consider the cost savings electric vehicles could bring. One estimate shows taxpayers could save up to $277 million over 15 years by transitioning Florida’s state-owned fleet to electric vehicles.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has already worked to expedite the availability of charging infrastructure, investing millions of dollars into long-term planning and strategic infrastructure improvements that will benefit Floridians for decades. It’s essential that we continue this approach and push measures that will provide Floridians with value and save taxpayer dollars.

A reasonable EV fee may be necessary down the road, but it should be part of a broader conversation about how we create sustainable transportation revenues.

For now, legislators should tap the brakes on any proposal to create one of the highest EV taxes in the country.


George Riley is the Florida Director of Conservatives for Clean Energy.


Guest Author

One comment

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 5, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    Good evening America,
    I, Earl Pitts American, have been pounding truth into the Republican Senators and Representatives regarding the ONLY thing current EV’s are good for is “Virtue Signaling” for dook 4 brains leftists. EV’s are actually harmfull to the enviornment and their componets are obtained at 3rd world countries by slave labor childern as young as 6 years old.
    But my name is Earl Pitts American not Jesus Christ and I have done all I can do to make Republicans in Florida see the truth about EV’s.
    I am sorry America about those Florida Republican lawmakers failure to legislate on my sweet honest truth. And actually I understand they need to be re-elected and that is why they will not listen to me.
    I, Earl Pitts American, will not go so far as to call those Republicans out as “Dook 4 Brains Rightys” no America I wont do that. They are politicians and I totally get their position.
    I have a new plan to work around them. I have in my possesion a new technonogy which provides direct electricty produced by an energy cell on board each EV. No you never plug this baby in and there is no battery made with rare earth toxic material mined by 6 year old slave babies.
    This technology will hit the public very soon. Watch for it and remember who put the word in your ear if you are an investor.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “You heard it here First” American

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn