Owning a hybrid or electric car in Maine could get more expensive. Governor Paul LePage's administration has proposed an annual fee for people who own environmentally-friendly cars.
Hybrid car owners would pay an annual $150 fee, and electric car owners would pay $250.
"It's a fairness issue," said Maine DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt.
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The annual fee would go toward the state's Highway Fund.
Bernhardt says other drivers contribute to the highway fund by paying the gas tax.
"[Hybrid or electric car owners] use the highway system, yet they pay nothing toward it," said Commissioner Bernhardt.
Other states impose similar fees, but Maine's would be the highest in the nation.
"No one that I know who owns an electric vehicle wants to avoid paying road tax -- we just want it done fairly," said Tony Giambro, who owns Paris Autobarn, a garage that specializes in hybrid and electric cars.
Giambro owns a Kia Sol electric vehicle and drives few miles a year.
"A flat fee on me would make me pay more in road tax than someone who owns a gas car," he said.
He says a fee structure that is based on mileage would be more fair.
Giambro worries this proposed fee could deter people from buying environmentally-friendly vehicles. He will be attending a public hearing for the proposed legislation at the Maine State House Tuesday afternoon.
"Let's re-work the system," he said, "so it's fair for everybody."