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Owners of electric vehicles deserve incentives for the higher fees they’re paying

Electric vehicles keep our air cleaner and are easier on roads, but the new fees don’t reflect those benefits.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker cheers as Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, gives his final remarks on the floor of the Illinois Senate during overtime of the Spring Session at the Illinois State Capitol, on June 2, 2019, in Springfield, Ill.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker cheers as Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, gives his final remarks on the floor of the Illinois Senate during overtime of the spring session. The Senate approved funding for the capital construction plan, legalized sports betting and gambling expansion.
Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP

As an electric vehicle owner, I can say that the state’s incentives went a long way in helping overcome the economic hurdles to purchasing and operating one of them.

Electric vehicles (EVs) cost more to insure and have far less maintenance and “re-filling” infrastructure than traditional cars and trucks. The reduced registration fee and the state and federal tax incentives helped balance out these costs.

But the Illinois General Assembly changed that when they passed the budget and increased the fees on electric vehicles to make up for the fuel taxes EVs do not pay at the pump.

The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, making an EV more costly to operate than a traditional car, while failing to recognize EVs’ value.

With the flat $100 per year additional fee, an EV will pay more in fuel tax than a standard car, and far more than a hybrid — all while bearing higher insurance and fueling costs.

Yet EVs, lighter than regular cars, cause far less wear and tear on roads and infrastructure. Additionally, EVs create higher air quality since they do not release carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

The Illinois General Assembly has forgotten these benefits in its effort to fund needed road repairs. Most EV users understand the desperate condition of our roads and will bear this increased burden, but would appreciate something in return.

If the state taxes EVs at the same or higher rates than traditional cars, then the state should increase incentives to build infrastructure and provide other supports to EV.

Increasing the number of charging stations, regulating station operators to keep fees manageable, and providing tax and fee relief for EVs in other areas would go a long way to keeping the EV market growing while helping the state balance its budget.

Joseph Clair, Wrightwood

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Families, be realistic when it come to college expenses

Yes, student loan debt is out if control, but I too feel Senator Dick Durbin’s proposed policy is not the answer.

The student loan problem begins before the student enters college. It starts with parents not sitting down with their kids and discussing colleges, tuition costs and what the family can afford.

Every child has big dreams and want the best college.

Every parent wants that too, but if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it.

Parents need to be willing to set parameters on what they can afford, and this information will help the child to choose a college that won’t leave them with insurmountable debt.

The dream is to get the college education and move on with your life.

All the prestige and glamour of being able to say your child is attending some uber- expensive school loses its luster when the student loans come due.

Sandy Kloskowski, Elmhurst