In a surprising twist, the recent high court ruling in Victoria has decided to strike down the electric vehicle (EV) tax, which has sent shockwaves through Oz!
Picture this: you're a proud EV owner cruising along the streets of Victoria, doing your bit for the environment, and then, bam! A tax that makes your wheels spin—literally. Victoria introduced a distance-based charge for EV drivers, designed to recoup lost revenue from those not paying petrol excise. Electric and hydrogen vehicle owners were slapped with a 2.8c charge for each kilometre, while plug-in hybrid drivers paid 2.3c per kilometre. Hybrid vehicles, on the other hand, got a free pass.
But here's the sunny side... two EV owners dared to challenge the tax in the high court, and their persistence paid off. In a unanimous decision, the high court declared the Victorian EV charge invalid.
The court declared that a state excise tax was a tax closely linked to the production, sale, distribution, or consumption of goods that could affect their manufacture or production. In this case, the EV tax was indeed a tax on goods, affecting the demand for EVs.
But did everyone sing Kumbaya around the legal campfire? Not quite. It's safe to say the courtroom wasn't a harmonious place that day. It's not just the EV tax on the line. Charges generating billions of dollars are now facing a cloud of uncertainty. Tax on gifts, inheritance, payroll taxes, industrial land taxes, you name it—there's a big question mark looming over them.
Victoria even suggested that other charges could be in the firing line, including vehicle duties, registration charges, and waste disposal levies (interesting!). When we know more here, you'll be the first ones we tell!
So GFZ's, don't hit the panic button on EVs yet! While it's not the final act in the EV tax saga, this surprising decision is still seen as a climate win for EVs, offering a glimmer of hope in our journey toward a greener future. As we plug into an electrified future, who knows what the next chapter holds? One thing's for sure: while the road ahead still seems a little longer, we're in for an exciting ride.