Opinion

Should electric vehicles pay road tax?

Electric vehicles don’t pay any road costs. This is unfair for all the rest of us that pay up to 42 cents per litre for imported fuel, along with all the other costs/rip offs from high rego to stamp tax. This is unfair too, grossly unfair.

I remember when fuel tax was brought in, which replaced a cumbersome guessing game where we forecast our travel distances and paid a tax. That was an awful system, which looks much like the new systems being put forth by our overpaid politicians and bureaucrats.

The fuel tax is claimed to be fair, but is it? When it was brought in, the government told us that every dollar would be used for roads. Of course, this ‘promise’ failed with the first change of government. Malcolm Fraser started stealing our money. John Howard got in trouble for not spending the required percentage (3 per cent) and only spending 1.5 per cent. Our roads should be 50 times better than the goat tracks we suffer on and die on every day. And now they want us to pay more. Everyone knows that good roads are safer. Everyone knows that bad roads damage people, damage vehicles and are unsafe. Yet, our politicians play games while we suffer. Not only that, they subsidise all of these EV vehicles with our taxes.

So, should electric vehicles pay road tax? I believe the correct question is: Why does anyone pay road tax?

Let me explain: I cart a product for you. I pay for the fuel tax. I must add the fuel tax onto the bill that I send you. You end up paying the fuel tax and my accounting costs.   

Again, the subject is bigger than that. Every product that every Aussie needs is transported. Every Aussie pays for road tax that transport pays, and that they pay when they fuel their cars. Every Aussie travels on our roads. Road safety and efficiency affects every Australian.   Why should one group have to pay for all those that don’t run trucks?

Governments love to divide us. They love to add new taxes all over the place, often hidden.  They tell us that our trucks do more road damage, so we should pay more. But, we run trucks to feed and clothe all our citizens. We provide an essential service. They would starve and freeze if our trucks stopped delivering. Yet, we pay for the privilege. That is unfair. Therefore, electric vehicles should not pay road tax. Neither should anyone else. Roads are for everyone. Everyone benefits from better and safer roads. Road costs should come out of general revenue, and not forced onto one part or industry.

Imagine the benefits: Eliminating fuel tax would eliminate a major cost. Fuel would cost only a dollar a litre. Actually, our fuel is transported in trucks that pay road tax. So our fuel would cost 90 cents or so. Eliminating fuel tax accounting and records would eliminate another major transport cost. Eliminating fuel tax would reduce truck and replacement parts costs, reducing our maintenance costs. Tyres would be cheaper, trucks would be cheaper. Oil would be cheaper. Transport costs would drop significantly.

These reductions in costs would be passed on to manufacturing, agriculture and every citizen. Our manufacturing costs would drop. Our agriculture product costs would drop (transport is up to 33 per cent of grain costs). Our products would be more competitive. Our industry and farmers would enjoy more income, and all the food, clothes, houses and fuel would be cheaper. That sounds pretty good to me.  

Kill road tax. Kill toll roads too, as the government takes 50 per cent of every toll dollar.  That is a lot of tax. Let’s get our country going. Covid has cost business and our country a fortune. Let’s streamline our taxation system and get this country back on its feet. No one should pay road tax.  

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