The state wants to replace the current fuel tax drivers and replace it with a system that charges them based on how much they drive.
But the proposal was met with heated opposition at a community meeting in Kapolei last week. The reaction was so angry, according to the Hawaii Free Press web site, that police had to be called in.
The state says the change is needed because income from the fuel tax, which is used to repair roads throughout Hawaii, is dropping as more electric cars are on the road and people drive less.
One lawmaker said drivers in her district feel the new system, which would monitor how much every car whether it’s gas or electric, is unfair to residents who live further away from their jobs. People who can afford to live in more upscale communities closer to town would pay less, while those who aren’t as wealthy live further out, in more rural areas, and have to commute longer distances would pay more.
“People are clearly, visibly upset,” said state Rep. Sharon Har. “These models that work on the mainland, don’t necessarily work here in Hawaii. As you know on the mainland, you have the more affluent living in the suburbs, and they can afford to pay for something like a toll or a road usage charge. Whereas in Hawaii, it’s the exact opposite.”…