JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska state senator has proposed doubling the state’s tax on diesel and gasoline to increase money available for transportation spending.
Republican Sen. Click Bishop of Fairbanks introduced the bill that would also double the cost to register an electric vehicle.
Under the bill, the highway motor fuels tax would double from 8 cents to 16 cents per gallon. The marine fuels tax would also double from 5 to 10 cents per gallon.
Taxes on aviation gasoline, jet fuel and home heating fuel would remain unchanged.
The increase would raise about $35 million for the state and update a tax rate that has not changed since 1970. Alaska’s 8-cent gas tax is the lowest in the nation.
The average national, local and federal gas tax is 55 cents per gallon, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
There are an estimated 28,000 electric vehicles in Alaska and owners do not pay motor fuels tax.
To ensure electric car owners contribute, the proposal would raise the every other year cost to register an electric car from $100 to $200.
“I think it’s pretty hard to put forward an argument that we don’t need more money for road maintenance,” said Republican Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which considered Bishop’s proposal Monday.
The Alaska Trucking Association, Associated General Contractors and Alaska Municipal League offered support or withheld comment.
Twelve people who testified before legislators said they opposed the increase.