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Victoria’s state government has made a landmark decision to reimburse electric vehicle (EV) owners for taxes collected, with interest, following a High Court ruling deeming the tax on EV drivers as unconstitutional.

The contentious road user charge, wherein EV drivers paid around 2 cents per kilometer, faced a legal challenge by two Victorian electric car owners, Christopher Vanderstock and Kathleen Davies, who argued its illegality as an excise, a power reserved for the Commonwealth.

Treasurer Tim Pallas confirmed the government’s intent to refund the collected funds, stating, “We’re now going through a process of identifying who it is that we need to rebate and we’ll go through the process of making those rebates.”

Mr. Pallas estimated the repayment to be around $7 million and mentioned that the process might take a few months. Furthermore, despite no legal obligation, the government intends to compensate vehicle owners with interest on the retained funds.

The High Court ruling has broader implications beyond Victoria, potentially impacting other states considering similar levies. It comes at a time when national efforts, including the federal “electric car discount” and the National Electric Vehicle Strategy, aim to boost the number of EVs on Australian roads.

Victoria’s decision to refund EV taxes marks a significant shift in policy and aligns with the growing global push towards sustainable transportation. As the state moves to rectify the taxation issue, the focus remains on promoting EV adoption and fostering a greener, more sustainable future.

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