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Originally published Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 4:54 PM

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WA Senate approves $100 fee for electric cars

Senate lawmakers have approved a bill that would impose an annual $100 fee on electric cars to recover lost gas tax revenue.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Senate lawmakers have approved a bill that would impose an annual $100 fee on electric cars to recover lost gas tax revenue.

Drivers would pay the fee every year when they got their car tabs renewed.

Democratic Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island included the fee on her transportation budget. She says the proposal was dependent on the electric car fee's passage.

The Senate Transportation committee chairwoman says electric car owners need to pay their fair share of highway maintenance.

The Washington State Department of Transportation estimates that drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles pay about $200 a year in gas tax. Washington's gas tax is 37.5 cents per gallon.

The fee is expected to bring in around $400,000 in 2013.

Opponents argue the fee would discourage environmentally-conscious drivers.

The bill now moves to the House for approval.

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