Ed Hooper wants to tax electric, hybrid vehicles — but not golf carts

A line of electric cars charging at a public charging station -
New taxes may be in store for your Tesla.

A carefully crafted bill would erase some of the economic benefits of opting for green transport in Florida without disturbing golf-carting populations in places like The Villages.

Sen. Ed Hooper recently filed a bill (SB 28) that would impose extra license costs for drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles. But the Clearwater Republican’s bill appears to make a special exception for golf carts, a staple vessel for Floridians on and off the links.

The bill provides for an additional license tax for drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles. The proposed tax for fully electric drivers is $200 annually until 2029, when it ramps up to $250 per year. The tax for hybrid owners is $50 per year, increasing to $100 in 2029.

Currently, Florida drivers pay a much cheaper license tax, ranging from $14.50 to $32.50, for most private vehicles depending on weight. Under the language of the bill, electric and hybrid owners would continue to pay these already-in-effect license taxes, too.

Notably, the additional tax burden would not apply to street-legal golf cart owners because of an early carveout in the bill.

The increased tax, according to the bill’s language, does not apply to vehicles using a battery system of up to five kilowatts per hour (KWH). A battery system powerful enough to back street-legal golf carts uses around 1-3 KWH. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model S runs on anywhere from 60 to 100 KWH systems.

So there’s no looming change for folks in The Villages, where many convert golf carts to street legal, registered “Low-Speed Vehicles.”

The proceeds from the tax will be distributed in a scheme intended to complement the fuel-tax spending.

Danny McAuliffe

Danny is a contributor at floridapolitics.com. He is a graduate of Fordham Law School and Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. Reach him at [email protected].


  • FloridaPatriot

    September 13, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Typical Republican….TAX TAX TAX and Kill innovation.

  • Elmo

    September 13, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    That’s just nuts!!

  • Michael K

    September 13, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Stupid and spiteful.

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 14, 2023 at 3:24 am

    Omg. Another bs proposal by another bs Republican! Get with the common good!

  • PeterH

    September 14, 2023 at 8:42 am

    If our Florida Legislature passes this bill and DeSantis signs it into law….. a lawsuit needs to be filed.

  • Lex

    September 14, 2023 at 8:50 am

    This actually makes sense. The gas tax pays for roads. Electric cars use roads. Electric cars should pay some of that same tax burden for the roads. Golf carts don’t use roads in any large amount. This isn’t as bad or weird as it sounds.

    • Ali

      September 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm

      A study was done by USF showing that typical ICE vehicles pay on average $125-146 annually. Hooper and team pulled $200 out on thin air with no studies and no back up data. Additionally, this harms drivers who don’t drive often. And not to mention, unlike a gas tax this fee only impacts Florida residents who register their car in this state and completely misses funds that could come frmo EV drivers from out of state who will be driving free of charge.

  • Rick Whitaker

    September 14, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    so once again, those most able to pay, do not pay. shame on you desantistan. trump loves golf, let him pay. to be fair, i hate golf. it waste water and is elitist in nature.

  • just sayin

    September 15, 2023 at 7:25 am

    Put down your partisan blinders for a second. One-third of the transportation budget comes from gas taxes. Electric vehicles don’t contribute anything. How are roads going to continue to be built if there is no tax revenue coming in? Your beloved federal government is trying to do the same thing.

Comments are closed.


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