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Motorists say that Sask. The move to become the first province to tax electric vehicles is political

Electric vehicle owners in Saskatchewan aren’t as quiet as the cars they drive.

The Saskatchewan government will be charging an annual fee of $ 150 for electric vehicles beginning October 1.

The move was announced as part of the province’s 2021-22 budget released on Tuesday. Treasury Secretary Donna Harpauer said Saskatchewan will be the first province in Canada to introduce a tax on electric vehicles.

For Will Yip, who bought a Nissan Leaf last week, it means paying more than he originally budgeted.

“I bought an electric vehicle because I thought it would be inexpensive, not because I was trying to save a few trees,” said Yip.

“And the fact that they change the rules without letting us know is the part that frustrates me.”

Will Yip bought his electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf, a week before the province introduced a new electric vehicle tax. (Will Yip)

Yip would have liked to see the government consult electric vehicle owners before the tax was introduced.

“They’re just petty and not creative,” said Yip.

It’s another blow to EV drivers in the province who had a green discount for zero-emission and hybrid vehicle owners that were withdrawn from a previous Sask in 2012. Party government.

“What we’re seeing is a pattern. If you take into account the proposed gasoline rebates that basically bypass the carbon tax, as well as a province that has no EV incentive, we see this pattern making it easier to pollute and more expensive to be sustainable” said Joel Murray, vice president of Tesla Owners of Saskatchewan.

Minister Donna Harpauer said electric vehicles are taxed by individuals because they do not contribute to the fuel tax that is used to maintain roads and highways. (Matt Duguid / CBC)

A conversation about fairness

Harpauer said the government is introducing the tax to pay for roads and highways.

“We have to talk about fairness. If you have a gas or diesel vehicle, of course you are contributing to the replacement of the road maintenance. Electric vehicles use the same roads and there is the same wear and tear, but there is no contribution because of the fuel tax,” said Harpauer in the Morning Edition by CBC.

The morning edition – Sask6:00Sask. Electric vehicle community disappointed with new tax

Jason Cruikshank, President of the Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Society, joined Stefani Langenegger to express concern over the province’s new tax on electric vehicles. 6:00

Tyler Krause, president of Tesla Owners of Saskatchewan, said the fairness argument was “a bit ridiculous”.

Yip, who pays a carbon tax to charge his Nissan, called it “a smoke screen, a straw dog”.

Other electric vehicles such as farm equipment, utility vehicles and inter-provincial trucks are exempt from the tax, which means that the new tax will mainly affect those who live in cities.

“They really emphasize that it’s about fairness, while there are a lot of different vehicles that use our roads that don’t have to pay fuel tax, but neither do electric vehicles,” said Krause. “For example, vehicles powered by natural gas don’t pay fuel tax, but neither do they.

“If you want to single out the owners of electric vehicles, you should just be there.”

Joel Murray, who owns a Tesla, said the tax makes it easier to pollute the environment and more expensive to be sustainable. (Matt Duguid / CBC)

Regarded as a political move

There are roughly 400 electric vehicles on the streets of Saskatchewan, but Krause believes the number could rise now that there is a Tesla store front in Saskatoon.

The province expects US $ 60,000 in revenue from the new tax.

Krause said this figure was “a drop in the ocean”.

“To be completely honest, the administrative costs for the administration are likely to be higher than what they bring in from the fee themselves. So it’s clear that this is not going to help them financially. It can only help them politically.” Said Krause.

Saskatchewan has introduced a new tax on electric vehicles. (CBC)

According to the Treasury Department, the gas tax is expected to generate about $ 65 million less in 2021-22 than in 2019-20.

“It’s more of a statement because you can’t honestly expect that $ 60,000 in taxes on electric vehicles will really affect road maintenance,” Yip said.

Krause doesn’t expect the government to lift the tax or stop people from buying electric vehicles. However, he hopes the government will provide incentives for future EV owners.

“You are doing nothing else to actually help the electric car community. You are doing nothing else to promote cleaner means of transport for private vehicles,” said Krause.

Environment Secretary Warren Kaeding said the government has no policy to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles on the road.

“We want you to know that we are not satisfied with it,” said Krause. “And if the tax goes up, many of us will probably make even more fuss than we do now.”

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