TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Some people who are saving on gas with hybrid cars may need to pay up in a new way.
A new proposal is heading toward the Indiana House and would tax hybrid vehicle owners.
Some state lawmakers say there's a necessity to create a new tax in order to pay for good roads.
Hoosier hybrid or electric car owners might save pennies at the pump, but now, you could be taxed each year.
Each time you fill your gas tank, 16 cents of it pays for road repairs and improvements.
This new proposal would require owners of clean energy vehicles to pay a road use tax in PLACE of gas tax.
If the bill passes, will owning a green vehicle even be worth it?
"It defeats the purpose in my mind as well…Getting the consumer to bite on that kind of vehicle and then taking their money away from them on what they considered a gas savings and helping the economy in some regards, but more importantly, the environment," said Brian Dorsett, president of Dorsett Automotive.
Dorsett said there are more upfront costs to buy that type of vehicle.
You're going to save gas in the long run, but you'll have to own it at least five years to get your money back.
Last year, the average American spent almost $3,000 a year on gas. And gas prices are even higher now.
Driving hybrid saves the typical customer $150 per month in gas.
You'd think higher gas prices would boost green vehicle sales, but reports show the sale of hybrids goes down when gas prices go up.
People buy smaller gas vehicles instead.
"You can find plenty of cars out there that get as good, if not better [gas mileage] than a lot of hybrids…I think a lot of it is because they want to do something for the environment, and they're conscientious of that as well as get some good gas mileage out of it," said Dorsett.
The issue calls into question whether going green keeps you in the green.
Americans spent the most on gas ever in 2012. Reports say about 4 percent of the average person's income goes into gas.
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