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Oklahoma Supreme Court rules electric vehicle registration fee unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled the electric vehicle registration fee, which passed in the final days of the last legislative session, is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday afternoon, the $100 fee for the registration of an electric vehicle as well as $30 for a hybrid was struck down.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court said it was a revenue bill that passed in the last five days and didn’t receive three quarters of support by the legislature.

The revenue, totaling over half a million dollars, was designated for highway construction and maintenance.

Gary Richardson and the Sierra Club, who both challenged the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Fee, celebrated it being overturned Tuesday.

“I am thankful that the State Supreme Court recognized that the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Fee leveed on hybrid and electric vehicles was an illegal tax increase,” Richardson said.

“The Sierra Club applauds the Oklahoma Supreme Court for striking down this biased and illegal tax on electric vehicles. There are clear signs that the car industry is poised to go electric quickly and, in Oklahoma, this switch is badly needed,” said Johnson Bridgewater, the Sierra Club Oklahoma Chapter director. “To clean up our dirty air, cut climate emissions and assure Oklahoma is keeping up with the transition to a clean energy economy, we need to accelerate the transition to clean, electric vehicles. With this arbitrary fee removed, Oklahomans can drive down the highway to clean transportation, leaving dirty transportation in the dust.”

Governor Mary Fallin also issued a statement on the ruling but in opposition, saying:

“I’m disappointed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down the registration fee for electric and hybrid vehicles. Fortunately, lawmakers are in special session now working on how to adjust a shortfall of $215 million of state appropriations caused when the state Supreme Court earlier this year struck down a proposed smoking cessation fee.”

The smoking cessation fee, also passed in the final days of the last legislative session, was ruled unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court as well. It’s what prompted the ongoing special session.