A tax on sidewalks? Are you kidding?

Sort of.

After all, who would tax you for using something that puts less exhaust in the air, contributes to wellness, and lowers the health care costs we’ll pay today and tomorrow… all while fighting climate change?

The Government of Saskatchewan, that’s who.

Because on October 1st, that’s what they did by becoming the first government in Canada to charge an annual tax on Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Got two minutes to hear our story?

We’re a small group of taxpayers — and yes, some of us are proud EV owners — concerned about this big move backward by our government, especially since so many other places are encouraging people to drive EVs.

Let's talk about EVs for a moment.

— They produce no tailpipe emissions.
— They can run on 100% sustainable, renewable resources.
— They have a very low overall lifetime cost of ownership, including maintenance. This puts more money into people's pockets and back into the local economy.
— They have a higher resale value than gas-powered cars.
— They are super quiet.
— Electric motors are up to 4X more energy-efficient than gasoline-powered internal combustion engines.

EVs are better for everyone. You know, just like sidewalks.

But we get it.

Since EV owners don’t pay the fuel tax that helps with road maintenance, a lot of people think they should pay their fair share of road upkeep.

And we agree!

So here’s our fair-for-everyone idea.

We think Saskatchewan should delay the tax until there are more EVs here.

Right now, there are about 600 EVs in Saskatchewan. Starting the tax now could easily cost more to manage than it raises. But it also tells the world that we don’t want EVs — or the money, jobs and investment they’ll bring. It’s also a disincentive for buyers.

As EV ownership rises, so will the need for job-creating infrastructure and the raw materials used for batteries. But who wants to invest in a place that's discouraging EVs, or build a mine in a province that doesn’t value the products that use its metals and minerals?

We’re not the only ones who think the tax isn’t smart economics. Read what Joel Bruneau, Economics Professor at the University of Saskatchewan has to say.

In addition to this tax, Saskatchewan offers no incentives for EV buyers. But if we can encourage more EVs, we’ll all benefit from the jobs, infrastructure and investment that arise from it. Letting the marketplace for EVs grow sounds like pretty good economics to us.

The fair number? 1.3%.

California has a similar EV tax. But they waited until 1.3% of their vehicles were EVs to charge it. We propose the same: delay the tax until 10,500 EVs, or 1.3% of all light-duty vehicles, are on our roads.

At 1.3%, we’ll see more EVs being driven by more kinds of people, growing their appeal. The sales growth will boost our auto, infrastructure and related industries, the environmental benefits will grow, and momentum towards a healthier future will have started.

In fact, we think this tax is such a bad idea, we’ll pay it for you.

That's right. We’ll either pay the tax for every EV owner in Saskatchewan or give them the opportunity to donate an equivalent amount to a charity.

If we know EV owners, they’ll want to turn a bad idea into a good act and make that donation.

get your tax back

Four things you can do right now:

— If you’re an EV owner, click here to get your tax back or donate an equivalent amount to charity

— Share or retweet this to spread our campaign

— Send a letter to your local MLA, Minister of Environment Hon. Warren Kaeding, and Premier Scott Moe.

— Join our Facebook page to comment and keep in touch

And finally, thanks for being curious enough to find out about the “sidewalk tax”. We hoped that it was a ridiculous enough idea to get your attention… but given why we’re here, you never know.