TOPEKA — A compromise was finally settled on for a controversial bill that aims to increase the registration fees required to drive electric and hybrid vehicles. Current Kansas law charges hybrid vehicles either a $30 or $40 fee.
The proposed registration fee was originally set to be $150, but after the committee was able to agree, new fees were set at $100 for all-electric and $50 for electric hybrids or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.
The Conference Committee Report, adopted on April 5, included striking the word “conventional” from the description of an electric hybrid vehicle.
SB 2372 was introduced to the House on Feb. 18, with final action passed as amended on March 27 with 73 votes in favor and 51 against. On April 3, the bill was referred to the Committee of Transportation.
The bill was initially requested for introduction by Rep. Richard Proehl (R-Parsons) on behalf of the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force.
According to Rep. Brandon Woodard (D-Lenexa), the bill was compromised on to make the registration fees lower. Woodard tweeted earlier in the day, “Motion to adopt CCR for HB 2214 passes on Final Action, 80-41. I voted NO. Not the way to handle this issue [in my opinion].”
There were 11,397 hybrid vehicles registered in Kansas in the year 2017. According to the fiscal note, for hybrid vehicles, the registration fee increase would result in increased annual revenue of $455,880 to the State Highway Fund. For electric vehicles, it is estimated that the bill would result in additional annual revenue of $154,215.
The total additional annual revenue is estimated to be $610,095. The new fees would be effective beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
Olivia Schmidt is a University of Kansas senior studying journalism.