The state budget was signed September 21, 2017 with two items impacting clean energy: school borrowing authority for energy upgrades was removed and a fee was imposed on hybrid and electric vehicle owners. Act 32, which allows for schools to exceed property tax revenue limits to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects without going to referendum, was eliminated. Several school districts including Northland Pines Schools (see Energy On WI News May 2017) implemented energy efficiency and solar energy projects to save money using Act 32.
Another energy-related item in the budget is an annual fee that will be charged to owners of hybrid and electric vehicles to help pay for highway funding. The rational behind this is that they are paying less in gas taxes given the fuel efficiency of their cars. According to the Journal Sentinel, “A $100 fee on electric and hybrid vehicles would more than double the $75 annual registration fee for passenger vehicles”. JS