SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would raise registration fees for natural gas, electric and hybrid vehicles received a favorable recommendation Wednesday from a Senate committee.

Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, said SB139 is designed to have those driving such vehicles help fund roads because they aren’t paying as much or any gas tax for road maintenance.

While the committee was lacking numbers — the vote was 2-1 — the interested public was not. A handful of stakeholders testified saying people are already paying extra for electric and natural gas vehicles and shouldn’t be penalized for helping reduce emissions.

If the bill passes, owners of natural gas, electric or hybrid vehicles would have to pay at least three times more to register their vehicles than those fueled by motor or diesel fuel come January 2015.

Registration fees would be $133 for a natural gas vehicle, $138 for a hybrid electric vehicle and $163 for an electric vehicle. Fees for vehicles running on motor or diesel fuel would stay at $43.

The bill also reduces by about $3.2 million the $90 million that comes from sales tax into the transportation fund.

"The purpose of this bill is to go through and create a funding mechanism for HB74 so the electric vehicle, the clean vehicle tax credits, can be funded. Right now, it comes out of the education fund," Harper said.

— Madeleine Brown