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Hybrid car drivers could pay additional fee in North Carolina

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TWC News: Hybrid car drivers could pay additional fee in North Carolina
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RALEIGH—North Carolina drivers who use hybrid cars could end up paying for it in the long run.

State lawmakers in the Senate have proposed drivers pay an additional fee if they drive a hybrid or electric car.

They are the car industry's answer to going green. Gas prices are a big reason the hybrid cars have become more popular but if you own one in North Carolina it could cost you.

"The old system of collecting money for our roads is outdated. If this is the best way that we can do that then we're going to be in some trouble for a very long time," said NC Sierra Club Communications Director Dustin Chicurel-Bayard.

One item in the Senate budget calls for drivers to pay an additional fee when they renew their car registration. For hybrid cars the fee would be $50, electric cars the fee would be $100. Since hybrid cars use less gas supporters say the fees would help the state collect that money they lose from the gas tax back in order to fund road projects.

While the proposed fee is sure to impact drivers of hybrid and electric cars it also could have an impact on car dealerships as well.

"That would be on the individual buying the car if they felt that that was something they wanted to pay or don't pay. I don't know if that fee would necessarily deter someone from buying," said Bobby Murray Chevrolet General Sales Manager

Chicurel-Bayard said he understands everyone has to pay their fair share but feels this is the wrong way to go about doing that.

"We need to look at overall how we raise the money for our infrastructure and find new solutions rather than penalizing people who drive clean cars," said Chicurel-Bayard.

The House is now in the process of working on their version of a budget. It is unclear if the House supports the new fees.

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