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A charge for going green
A charge for going green
The Feds will give you a $7,500 tax credit for buying an electric vehicle, but in Washington state, the government sings a different tune. A state senator there wants to charge you for the gas you're not buying.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen proposed an annual $100 tax for electric car owners when they register their vehicles.

The argument? The state pays for road maintenance through revenue collected from a gasoline tax. But drivers of electric cars use those roads too. It's only fair, Haugen says, they contribute to state coffers as well.

If approved, the tax is estimated to generate $500,000 through 2012. As electric vehicles become more popular, it could raise as much as $1.5 million in 2017 alone, Haugen estimates.

In contrast, drivers of conventional vehicles pay a gas tax of 37.5 cents per gallon, which for someone who drives 12,000 miles a year -- adds up to around $200 in state tax.

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Last updated March 03 2011: 2:08 PM ET
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