Michigan gets it right, and we hope other states will, too

Just last month, we were pleased to report that Michigan legislators had dropped plans to impose an additional tax on electric vehicles to make up for falling gas tax revenues.

But while Michigan’s legislators made what we think is the right call, other states have added higher taxes on EVs and hybrids and more are considering the idea.

Earlier this month, the Detroit Free Press’s auto columnist Mark Phelan delivered a very balanced column on the issue, covering the benefits electric and hybrid cars bring to the economy and the environment while also noting that the way most states pay for road maintenance and construction—a tax on gasoline—doesn’t work anymore.

While Phelan said that drivers of electric and hybrid cars might be considered “saints who reduce fuel use, emissions and global warming,” one of his readers brought up another benefit to these advanced new vehicles.

Phelan “should have included the tremendous health cost burden from vehicle emissions, paid for by Michigan residents with asthma, the businesses that supply their insurance and sates funds from Medicaid that cover health costs for nearly half of Michigan children,” physician Robert M. Levine said in a letter published in the Free Press on July 14.

“This tilts the debate against new taxes on modern high-efficiency vehicles. . . . New taxes on our best new vehicle technology, which contains the added bonus of keeping us healthier, is not the right road.”

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.