If you’re a Victorian EV driver who had to pay the EV tax that got struck down by the high court recently, there’s some good news on the horizon. You’re going to get your money back – with interest.
Victoria’s controversial EV tax – if you like specifics, it was the The Zero and Low Emission Vehicle Distance-based Charge Act 2021 (Vic) (ZLEV Act) – charged EV drivers with vehicles registered in the state 2.5c for every kilometre they drove.
Ostensibly a means to generate lost revenue from petrol taxes, because full EVs don’t need petrol, it was challenged in court on the reckoning that the Victorian State Government lacked the authority to impose a road user levy.
The High court agreed, and the levy was struck from the law books last month.
A win for EV-positive lawmaking in most regards, but it left open the question as to what would happen with all the money that had been collected from the Victorian EV Tax since the scheme was implemented. As the ABC reports, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has today indicated that refunds will be coming… plus a little extra.
“We’re now going through a process of identifying who it is that we need to rebate and we’ll go through the process of making those rebates,” he said.
“I think we’ve even decided to be sufficiently generous, albeit there isn’t an obligation to pay interest, we’ll pay interest on the retention of those funds.”
The funds raised were reportedly in the region of $7 million, with Pallas noting that it may take “a few months” to arrange repayments to affected drivers.
Victoria had been the first state to actively levy a charge on EV drivers, but the spectre of an EV road user charge still sits over other states, albeit that they are no doubt considering their legislative position in light of the what’s happened in Victoria.
In New South Wales for example, a plan was mooted to to implement a levy from 1 July 2027 or when EVs made up 30 per cent of all new vehicles sold at 2.8c/km for full EVs/Hydrogen vehicles, or 2.24c/km for plug-in hybrid EVs. We’re not quite at those sales figures, however, so it will be interesting to see how that kind of plan actually ends up running – if at all.
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