Jay Inslee must have wanted to be a car dealer when he was younger, because at a time in our state’s history when funding our schools is the public’s highest priority, Inslee is focused on selling cars – electric cars – and using your tax dollars to subsidize his vehicle of choice.
As the Everett Herald puts it: “Jay Inslee wants to see a lot more electric vehicles in the state in five years, and he’s willing to spend a few million taxpayer dollars to make it happen.”
Currently, about 10,000 electric vehicles are on the road in Washington State. Jay Inslee wants to see that figure boosted to 50,000 by 2020. In order to make it happen, he has proposed rather generous incentive package.
Chief among them is that our green governor would like to extend the tax loophole for purchases of electric vehicles, which is set to expire this year. As Shift reported, the incentive is unnecessary, favors mainly the wealthy, and is costly to the state’s taxpayers. Inslee would also like to subsidize the installation of rapid-charging stations for private firms to operate — again, as Shift reported, this is an incentive that has failed in other states to the detriment of taxpayers. And, Inslee would like to subsidize his favored mode of transportation by giving “drivers of electric vehicles a break on ferry fares and traveling in high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes.”
Basically, Inslee wants the rest of the state’s taxpayers to pick up part of the transportation tab for the 10,000 people who currently own an electric vehicle, and hopes another 40,000 car buyers will join them at the public subsidy trough in the next five years.
Inslee proposed allocating about $25 million in his transportation tax package to give drivers of electric vehicles “a credit in their Good To Go or Wave2Go accounts to be applied to ferry fares and HOT-lane tolls.” Inslee determined that figure based on the estimated 10,000 electric vehicles on the road today, shelling out $200 to each driver. How our very green governor proposes to pay for even more free passes on ferry fares and HOT-lane tolls in the event that his incentive program actually works remains unknown.