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Gov. Bob McDonnell  (Source:
The fee is meant to replace the state's gas tax

Drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles protested a proposed transportation plan in the state of Virginia, which would charge them $100 per year.

The $3.1 billion transportation plan, which was proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, would eliminate Virginia's gas tax entirely. However, drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles would have to pay an annual fee of $100 to make up for it.

"It's meant to compensate for the federal gas tax that those vehicles do not pay," said McDonnell.

However, hybrid and electric vehicle drivers feel that this plan thwarts progress in the area of clean vehicles rather than encourages it. Some drivers have even called the fee a "punishment."

"We should be rewarding people for trying to do their part to stop the climate crisis and to lower pollution," said Beth Kemler, who attended the protest. "We shouldn't be punishing them with taxes."

In other U.S. states, such as California, residents are awarded for making green auto choices. California residents can save as much as $13,000 on the purchase of an electric vehicle through the use of tax rebates/credits.

Source: WTOP

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By Brandon Hill on 2/4/2013 3:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
What about diesel vehicles like the Jetta/Golf/Beetle which get hybrid-like fuel economy? Are they exempt? If they are, then this proposed legislation is just bull****.

RE: Diesels
By DanNeely on 2/4/2013 4:23:18 PM , Rating: 3
Diesel already is taxed at a higher rate, although the extra 6.3c/gallon in Virginia probably isn't enough to balance the total tax burden.

Financing road maintenance by taxing fuel has always been a crude proxy for actual wear and tear done. Electric vehicles are just finally pushing the failings up to the point where something is being done.

That said it does have some advantages:

It's much harder for scoff laws to avoid paying than most other options (running a diesel with off-road diesel or home heating oil are the only easyish ways around it).

Replacing it with an annual assessment based on tonnage and miles traveled requires giving more information up to the govt (and would trigger protests by libertarian shaded groups), and fails to capture effects of people driving outside their home states in either direction (although selectively buying gas on the cheaper side of state lines already allows some gaming now).

It would also have an end user disadvantage in that an extra $5-10 per fillup is spread out over the course of a year; while a single $300-1000 fee added to either your annual state tax return or yearly registration/inspection fees would trigger massive sticker shock and hammer anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck.

RE: Diesels
By MozeeToby on 2/4/2013 4:31:18 PM , Rating: 5
Financing road maintenance by taxing fuel has always been a crude proxy for actual wear and tear done.
It is not even a crude proxy, even with the fuel economy a semi gets it is still subsidization of the transport industry.

Road wear is approximately proportional to the axle weight to the 4th power. A 40,000 lb semi has 10,000 lbs per axle, compared to a car which might have 2,000. 5x the difference in axle weight means the semi produces more than 600 times the wear and tear on the roadway than the car does.

RE: Diesels
By DanNeely on 2/4/2013 6:32:13 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're confused about what a crude proxy is. Within a generation of IC vehicles; heavier ones generally consume more gas (the higher fuel tax paid by light but gas guzzling sports car owners can be classed as luxury tax) which means that a per gallon tax on fuel is a proxy for per vehicle wear on the road. The fact that it's not a linear relation is one of the reasons *why* it's a only a crude proxy.

Within the category of mainstreamish passenger vehicles it works reasonably well though. Using a 2600 pound Ford Fiesta and 4600 pound F150 and adding 500 pounds of passenger + cargo weight, you get an 8:1 ratio on road wear and a 2:1 ratio on fuel consumption. Assuming the 'fair' rate is at the midpoint this means that the Fiesta driver's overpaying by a factor of 2 and the F150 driver is getting a half off discount.

It's hardly perfect; but then neither are any of the other tax rates. ex compare costs of living in Manhattan and Big Cornfield Kansas; and you're looking at a similar spread but federal tax brackets treat people in both areas equally.

I excluded significantly smaller vehicles like the Geo Metro or Smart Fortwo because they've never been a significant fraction of vehicles on the road and larger pickups like the F250/350 because they're more working vehicles as opposed to an I-Have-A-Big-Truck fashion statements used as people movers. Once you go beyond those into commercial vehicles we'd be paying for last mile transport costs either way; whether it's subsidizing their wear and tear on the roads as the gas pump or by significantly higher prices on everything we purchase because they're taxed directly for what they do to the roadways.

RE: Diesels
By toyotabedzrock on 2/4/2013 8:01:27 PM , Rating: 1
A sports car applies more torque to the road's surface. Hydrocarbons degrade the asphalt as well.

I bet plenty of people from DC and NC would fill up in Virgina if they did this.

RE: Diesels
By mmatis on 2/5/2013 9:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
Oh noes! More business for Virginia companies as a result of this change? Can't have that!

I sure wish the <sarcasm> tags would work properly on this site...

RE: Diesels
By Mint on 2/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Diesels
By JediJeb on 2/4/2013 9:45:59 PM , Rating: 3
Instead, EV/hybrid drivers should continue to pay very little and legislation should be drawn up to push the fuel tax burden onto heavier vehicles, especially semis.

It isn't that lopsided as most think since commercial vehicles also have added usage taxes that non-commercial don't and excise taxes on everything from diesel to tires that add more taxes on heavier vehicles.

Maybe an alternative would be to tax tires. Tires wear faster if the vehicle is heavier or is used in a way that causes more wear and tear on the highway and by the miles driven, so that would be more proportional and include EV/hybrids.

RE: Diesels
By mcnabney on 2/5/2013 9:44:56 AM , Rating: 2

As was posted above - they do about 600x the damage to the road as they move vs a regular car, but they only get 1/5 the average mileage. That means that a tractor trailer is paying about 1/120th of the taxes for the same amount of damage done to the road. Factor in that they put at least 8x the mileage onto the roads each year than a commuter. Do you really think that the special fees for commercial trucks cost 120x what they pay in fuel taxes?

Almost all of the damage to our roads is caused by large trucks. Look at any interstate. Cars may outnumber trucks 10:1, but since trucks are doing 600x the damage - 98.4% of the road wear is being caused by the trucks. And since lighter is better for the roads - those lightweight hybrids and EVs are probably having almost zero impact on road degradation.

RE: Diesels
By JediJeb on 2/5/2013 9:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
But a quick search will show that there are about 250,000,000 cars on the highway and only about 1,250,000 commercial vehicles on the highway. So since there are nearly 100 times as many lighter vehicles on the road than heavy ones, then at most the ratio of damage is 6x cumulative. Also you have to figure in the fact that on residential streets that ratio of light vehicle traffic to heavy vehicle traffic is probably more than 1,000:1, only on the interstate highway would the heavy traffic be near the 100:1 ratio, so unless the gas taxes are only used for interstate repairs and not all highways then the actual tax ratio is about correct as it currently is. Remember not only does the federal government tax fuel for highway repairs, but so do state and local governments. It still works out closer to even than most people think.

RE: Diesels
By wordsworm on 2/4/2013 10:37:59 PM , Rating: 1
It's about time they went after bicycles and pedestrians, too. They both contribute to wear and tear. Could put a tax on bicycle tires and sneaker treads.

RE: Diesels
By bsd228 on 2/4/2013 11:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
> It's about time they went after bicycles and pedestrians, too. They both contribute to wear and tear. Could put a tax on bicycle tires and sneaker treads.

True, in a million years, they might wear down that road. But only if Caltrans keeps nature at bay for all that time.

RE: Diesels
By wordsworm on 2/5/2013 12:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
I don't agree. In about 200 years the average male will weigh 1,000lbs if the current trend continues.

RE: Diesels
By Rukkian on 2/6/2013 10:28:41 AM , Rating: 2
They also wont be walking or riding bikes, either.

RE: Diesels
By DanNeely on 2/5/2013 7:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Also, is the proportion you're using for scaling per axle or per wheel? Since the likely cause of wear on the road is ground pressure the latter seems more likely to me. In that case your typical 18 wheel semi is a 9 axle equivalent; and using the weight numbers you plugged in gives (4400/2000)^5 = a 24 to 1 ratio. Google's indicating 6-8 mpg for a fuel efficient semi which puts them at a ~3-5x discount vs typical passenger cars.

RE: Diesels
By Nutzo on 2/4/2013 4:33:01 PM , Rating: 1
This tax should only apply to EV or plugin Hybrids. Maybe a sliding scale based on battery size or range.

Standard Hybrids still burn gas, so the owners already pay gas taxes. Highway milage on a hybrid isn't much better than a similar gas car, or a diesel.

RE: Diesels
By GotThumbs on 2/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Diesels
By rs2 on 2/4/2013 7:12:09 PM , Rating: 5
No, the tax shouldn't apply at all. It's absurd to punish people for driving vehicles that are more efficient/consume less fossil fuels.

RE: Diesels
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2013 7:45:09 PM , Rating: 1
I thought taxes weren't a punishment though? Obama and the Left says it's fairness. It's doing your "fair share".

Unless they come up with an EV that magically doesn't use the roads, this isn't a punishment. It's a road tax and you'll pay it like everyone else has to!

RE: Diesels
By rs2 on 2/5/2013 12:45:42 AM , Rating: 4
If it's a road tax, then let them tax the electricity that powers the EV just like they tax the gas that other vehicles use. Oh, wait, they *already* do that in Virginia.

So people driving hybrids are already paying the same road tax as anyone else when they purchase fuel. People driving pure electrics (yeah, like all 12 of them) are paying tax whenever they charge their vehicle, which may as well be analogous to the gas tax (it's extra revenue for the government that's directly proportional to the amount the vehicle is used).

Hitting these people with a special tax because their vehicles are more efficient and therefore require less fuel/energy to operate and generate less tax revenue is exactly a punishment. It's telling people "you can't get ahead, no matter how hard you try; everything you save on efficiency we're going to take back in the form of taxes, because we can".

RE: Diesels
By maugrimtr on 2/5/2013 9:00:23 AM , Rating: 2
Stop talking sense and go home.

Yes, EV's pay taxes on the electricity they use. So it's really a mix between a distribution problem (where are the electical tax going?) and something valid - EVs will obviously add wear and tear to roads. Bearing in mind that a tax should be equitable and fair, taxing EVs likely isn't THAT terrible. It's just that EVs are currently price sensitive. They are expensive for early adoption but once those costs come down and the savings are more obvious, a simple car tax will have less impact on the cost of ownership.

RE: Diesels
By Dr of crap on 2/5/2013 1:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
This might make sense IF there was a large population of EVs and hybrids on the roads. But they are a very small section of the large amount of vehicles on the road. Seems like this state is jumping ahead and making the few that do have these cars angry and maybe keeping those thinking about getting one, not want to.

EVEN though it is only $100. Don't go out to eat two times and you have your hundred.

RE: Diesels
By ebakke on 2/4/2013 8:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's absurd that people who bought vehicles that are more efficient/consume less fossil fuels believe everyone but them should pay for the roads their vehicles drive upon.

RE: Diesels
By Mint on 2/4/2013 9:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
Read the points above. Roads don't get worn out significantly by EVs or gas cars. They get worn out by heavy trucks. Some studies estimate a factor of 10000x for the damage done by a loaded 18-wheeler vs a sedan, yet the Truck only consumes 5x the fuel (and thus only 5x the taxes).

Imagine if you paid $100 per year for garbage disposal, while the company down the street paid $500, but generated 10,000 times the garbage. If your neighbor got his garbage disposal for free, it'd dumb to be mad that your fee is subsidizing his free disposal. Instead, you should be arguing that the company should pay $599.88 while you and your neighbor pay $0.06, which is pretty much identical to the company footing the entire bill.

99.99% of the fuel tax that you pay isn't subsidizing EVs. It's subsidizing transport companies.

RE: Diesels
By JediJeb on 2/4/2013 10:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
The "Heavy Vehicle Use Tax" has already been implemented for just that problem, to level the field between light cars and heavy trucks.

Aside from the extra federal tax charged to heavy vehicles many states also add extra taxes on heavy vehicles. Add to that the fact that (as of 2010, most recent rates I found) gasoline is taxed at 18.4 cents per gallon versus 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel and the fact that the average semi under normal operating conditions gets 6.5mpg, I believe the discrepancy is lower than many people think.

Add to that the tire taxes

For most radial truck tires:
FET = ((Max. single load capacity in pounds-3,500)÷10)x$0.09450

This means that for every pound over 3500 on the load limit of the tire the tax increases and since it applies only to tires used on commercial vehicles it doesn't get charged to normal passenger vehicles. This was another tax added to heavy vehicles for the purpose of making up for the difference in highway wear due to higher weights.

Heavy trucks are not getting away with paying that much less taxes versus the amount of wear and tear they do on the highways, this has already been assumed and taxes added to help make up the difference. You can't only look at fuel taxes, you have to look at the whole tax package.

RE: Diesels
By Strunf on 2/5/2013 7:45:28 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt your 10000x figure, a truck may be heavier but it also as many more wheels and the wheels are much bigger, if you calculate the weight a truck and divide by the surface of contact with the road the difference wont be that big compared to a sedan, it's like comparing the impact on the soil by an elephant and a women wearing high heels.

Another point is that heavy trucks don't use all the roads, they use mostly the big axes and that probably isn't a big percentage of the total road length.

RE: Diesels
By johnsmith9875 on 2/5/2013 3:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Trucks do damage roads. Look at any roads at intersections leading up to a truck stop and you will see the asphalt has deep grooves in it due to the weight of the trucks driving on it.

RE: Diesels
By rs2 on 2/5/2013 12:57:06 AM , Rating: 3
No, pay attention. Currently everyone pays for the roads in the form of a gas tax.

The proposal is to take away the gas tax, and offset it by taxing only hybrid/EV drivers. Why should they pay for themselves and everyone else to use the roads?

The gas tax is more fair (everyone pays an amount that's proportional to their use of their vehicles, including hybrid drivers; hybrids still use gas). That leaves out pure EV drivers, but there aren't many of those and electricity is taxed in Virginia anyways. So they're paying a comparable tax already.

Do you really hate people who try to buy efficient vehicles so much that you want to 1) double tax them and 2) try to make them look selfish for not wanting to be double-taxed at the same time?

RE: Diesels
By ebakke on 2/5/2013 11:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
The proposal is to take away the gas tax, and offset it by taxing only hybrid/EV drivers.
Fair enough. I misread. I understood it to be a $100 tax on all vehicles, and only the hybrid/EV drivers were protesting. My mistake.

RE: Diesels
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2013 4:36:18 PM , Rating: 3
The issue is regardless of how fuel efficient they are, they still wear on roads just as much as other cars their size (possibly more since they're heavier due to the batteries) while paying less/no fees towards the maintaining of those roads.

If we all switched to electric cars (and you know how stupid I believe that to be right now) should we have no money to maintain roads? Or just take it out of the general fund?

RE: Diesels
By NellyFromMA on 2/4/2013 4:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
It all boils down to the fact that:

1) Local governments, like the federal government, do not have proper funding to carry out their functions properly.

2) Rather than address spending concerns, they just want more money without the ability to even talk about spending woes and their ultimate resolution.

3) We already pay excise taxes, which make sense, but aren't enough because several generations have squandered the money we could have been using properly before it got out of hand. Excise should be paid regardless or elec vs gas. It's road usage.

It kind of annoying that many of our generations problems boil down to the above more or less.

Sadly, I live in Taxachusetts which has already proposed two tax hikes, one of which is on transportation. When asked where the money went and cited the fact we already pay excise, our governmor's response was something along the lines of 'no, I am not looking to find the waste, we need more revenue'

It's sad that we not only elect these people, but RE-ELECT them... -_-

RE: Diesels
By Mint on 2/4/2013 9:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
If we all switched to electric cars (and you know how stupid I believe that to be right now) should we have no money to maintain roads? Or just take it out of the general fund?
You should find a way to get transport companies to foot the bill. Heavy trucks do almost all of the damage.

Taxing by fuel use has never been a fair way to distribute the costs in the first place.

RE: Diesels
By FITCamaro on 2/5/2013 9:28:32 AM , Rating: 2
BS. Passenger vehicles far outnumber semis on roads. To put the blame and cost largely on them would not only raise the price of EVERYTHING even more than it has already gone up but be blatantly unfair.

I agree with the guy above you that governments waste too much money on stupid "feel good" crap to the point that they can't pay for necessary things.

Doesn't make any sense
By tayb on 2/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Doesn't make any sense
By tayb on 2/4/2013 6:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
Addition -

It would not be difficult to track mileage driven. An inspection is required every 12 months.

Step 1: Pass law to be implemented in 3 years.
Step 2: Note mileage, VIN, and date in database.
Step 3: Calculate 12 month total (mileage divided by the date span times 12)
Step 4: Issue forms the following January for whatever number is in step 3
Step 5: Eliminate all federal and state gas taxes.

That's it. The weight of the vehicle would be the only other factor to consider and that would just be a simple multiplier.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By tng on 2/4/2013 11:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, rated down twice, looks like you made to much sense.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By JediJeb on 2/4/2013 11:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
Road maintenance taxes should be based on the weight of the vehicle and how many miles the vehicle is driven.

HVUT (Heavy Vehicle Use Tax) based on vehicle weight and the FET Federal Excise Tax on tires used on heavy vehicles which is based on weight both already do this. Fuel tax is higher on diesel than it is on gasoline, 24.4 cents per gallon versus 18.4 cents per gallon is biased towards heavy vehicles and fuel tax is not the only tax being used for highway repair. Seems everyone here is assuming that only fuel tax us used for highway repairs, I guess when most people do not have family that drive semis they never hear about all the other taxes charged to the commercial vehicle owners. Believe me heavy vehicle operators are not getting a free ride on taxes.

I used to have my CDL (commercial drivers license) just to drive when needed to help my family on the farm. I dropped it simply because it became too expensive when I never really used it. There are a lot of fees and taxes charged on commercial vehicles that the average person does not know about.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By Strunf on 2/5/2013 7:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
What you fail to notice is that heavy vehicles are actually needed to transport things around and hence they actually generate value, if you tax them more the transport companies will just compensate it by increasing the price of their service, at the end of the day this tax will be payed by everyone, it's like increasing taxes on fuel, if you have a electrical car you may jump in joy but you won't if you notice that all the products you buy cost now more just to compensate the increased cost to transport them around.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By tayb on 2/5/2013 9:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure that is relevant. If the price of goods goes up it has to be offset by something somewhere. In this case that offset would be the elimination of federal and state gas taxes. The end result would be heavy users of both roads and goods would be the ones actually paying for them. I don't really see a problem with that.

Oh wait
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2013 4:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
"We should be rewarding people for trying to do their part to stop the climate crisis and to lower pollution," said Beth Kemler, who attended the protest. "We shouldn't be punishing them with taxes."

Oh so taxes ARE punishments now? Interesting, Beth Kemler, Liberal cunt.

So people should be punished for using gas? Punished for making more money than you? But you should get a free ride because you went "green"? Last time I checked, you used the same roads as all those people who have to pay taxes for them.

The selfishness of Socialism in full display here.

Oh and Tiffany, if you could find it in your heart to have a shred of integrity, you might want to edit your article to inform the reader that this Kemler person isn't a protestor, but an activist that's made this crap her life.


Ignorance and Socialism. A depressing combination.

RE: Oh wait
By Wolfpup on 2/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Oh wait
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2013 4:42:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well said.

RE: Oh wait
By tng on 2/4/2013 11:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it was.

When I saw that at least some State in the Union is coming to it's senses, I can only hope that all do.

Doesn't matter what you commute in, if it is on a public road, you should help pay for them.

RE: Oh wait
By tng on 2/4/2013 11:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and by the way, shouldn't that $7500 tax credit pay for 6 years of that fee? Shouldn't be a issue...

By coondini on 2/4/2013 5:16:32 PM , Rating: 3
Yep, those Republicans sure love lowering taxes...that is what they all love to say, right?

RE: Taxes
By Yahma on 2/5/2013 12:00:25 AM , Rating: 1
Yep, those Republicans sure love lowering taxes...that is what they all love to say, right?

But Obama and the Left insist that taxes are not a punishment... you need to do your fair share says Obama!

$100 is overkill for stated reason
By bsd228 on 2/4/2013 5:38:24 PM , Rating: 4
The Governor says this is to make up for lost federal gax tax. The problem is that this is only 18.4 cents per gallon. If he meant to include the state one as well, it is 38.3 cents.

$100 at 18.4 cents translates to 543 gallons purchased.
$100 at 38.3 cents translates to 261 gallons purchased.

At 12000 miles and 30 miles per gallon, you would buy 400 gallons which translates to $73.60 fed and $153.20 overall. The Prius owner at 50 mpg is still buying 240 (91.82) so charging him $100 for the missing 160 gallons (62.5 c/gallon) seems inappropriate. The state benefits considerably from cars using less fuel - charging an extra $40 runs counter to this. And that's for a prius, one of the most efficient hybrids you can buy. If you're really just trying to make up revenue, the hybrid fee should drop to $50.

There is better justification to imposing the flat fee for the EV, though the taxes paid to power generation should be considered. While charging for mileage is the 'fairest' route to go, the reality is that the costs around tracking and billing for it are too great for a fee this small. It's much more efficient to have a flat fee as proposed.

Unfortunately, you do end up with a fee that is only suitable for full time drivers. For those who walk/bike/take the bus to work and only drive on evenings/weekends, their annual mileage tends to be half or less. They lose out with a flat fee.

By cyberguyz on 2/5/2013 7:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
Where is my incentive to pay the higher cost of one of these vehicles?

I understand the need for environmental responsibility. And I will do my best to help - within my limited earning power.

But when I buy a hybrid or EV, why should I be penalized for doing the right thing? I am buying this car to reduce my TCO not be on a par with one that is not as environmentally responsible. The tangible benefit, and my reason for laying out the extra cash to buy a highly efficient car goes away. let's face it:

1. Hybrids & EVs are more expensive than gas-only cars.
2. When the batteries fail/wear out, they are obscenely expensive to replace.
3. Government rebates on purchase only goes so far. It will not come near covering the difference between even a hybrid and comparably-equipped gas-only version of the same car.
4. While hybrids get better mileage, they don't get THAT much better mileage in reality.
5. Plug-in hybrids get limited range on EP only. EVs get even worse requiring long charging cycles and no gas engine backup.
6. EVs and Hybrids are best suited to urban environments where driving ranges are relatively short. Urban streets are maintained mostly by municipal taxes rather than state or federal gas taxes. Where does this fee fit in here? What is the municipal 'share' of this cash pot?

By johnsmith9875 on 2/5/2013 3:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
EV batteries are not expensive. They're nickel-metal hydride and there's nothing exotic nor expensive about them, and the metal is ecologically rather mundane and they're easily recyclable.
Hybrids are expensive because they're 2 cars in one, a gasoline and an electric.

By Motoman on 2/4/2013 4:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
"We should be rewarding people for trying to do their part to stop the climate crisis and to lower pollution," said Beth Kemler, who attended the protest. "We shouldn't be punishing them with taxes."

Uh-huh. And what good are your hybrids and EVs going to do you after all the roads and bridges have crumbled apart because there wasn't enough gas tax collected to maintain them?

Such people are absolute a$$hats. The tax on fuel at the pump pays to keep the roads in servicable condition. If you buy a vehicle that allows you to skirt paying those taxes, and then don't want want to make up for it in another way (like this $100 fee), then you're nothing more than a leech on society.

If I wanted to be a total douche like that, I could buy ag diesel and run that in my truck...and likely never get caught. Then I wouldn't have to pay road taxes either. How about that?

RE: Morons
By mjv.theory on 2/5/2013 8:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
Moron indeed.

What the majority of posters entirely fail to comprehend is that roads are not a per usage or a wear and tear facility. They are a social infrastructure. The heavy truck is providing goods and services to the economy and as such EVERYBODY uses the roads whether you own a vehicle or not, whether you travel on roads or not. If you want to live in a society where everybody is forced to pull their weight then go live in a commune. If you want to live in a society where the rewards for success can be disproportionately high relative to the effort and skills that gained those rewards, then welcome to (social) capitalism and stop whinging about the "society in total" that provides you with that opportunity.

Government is in the business of infrastructure and social reform, those are its two purposes. Human society must move forward or stagnate and a part of that necessary change means that you can't drive around in your late 60s V8 forever. A change to EVs must come. The rate at which that change occurs and the methods and extent of regulation employed by government can be debated. However, if you believe that "the market will choose" then you are deluded. The "market" is regulated and manipulated, and it is most certainly not "free". The simplistic idea that capitalism is a "free market" and that the "market" will choose winners and losers is a myth built on simple minded ignorance.

RE: Morons
By Reclaimer77 on 2/5/13, Rating: -1
It's only $100/year
By woody1 on 2/5/2013 12:17:37 AM , Rating: 3
You can argue the merits of charging taxes for EV/Hybrid vehicles, but all said and done, it's only $100/year. That's not much of a burden, considering that people who can afford these vehicles probably won't notice it. It's really a pretty symbolic sort of tax.

At this early stage, it might be good policy to waive these fees to encourage adoption of these cleaner vehicles. At some point, though, when there are a lot of these on the road, it will be necessary to adapt the tax policies to offset the tax losses. Just might be a little early for that.

True price
By sulu1977 on 2/5/2013 12:29:33 PM , Rating: 3
Why don't you put me in charge. I'll immediately make the oil companies pay for their own oil wars, and the price of your gas will go to $12 per gallon, the true free-market price. Then you can all enjoy true capitalism!

By superflex on 2/4/2013 4:07:26 PM , Rating: 1 precious hybrid doesn't cause wear and tear on the roads, bridges and infrastructure like those evil hydrocarbon burning vehicles.
Tough luck eco hippie.

RE: But.......
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: But.......
By Rukkian on 2/4/2013 4:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
Most people take advantage of every tax break/credit/deduction they can. I don't personally think a flat fee is right, cause there should be some way to equate to have people that drive more pay more to repair the damage that each car does to the road.

I think that it is not the DOT of the state's responsibility to puch for green alternatives (even if I think it is a good thing overall). I think the responsibility of the DOT is to keep the roads/bridges in good repair, which it needs money to do.

I do not fault somebody taking the tax credit for the hybrid, just like I do not fault people for taking other credits (mortgage interest, student loans, child care, etc, etc). Blame the idiots making the laws and creating the loop holes.

RE: But.......
By cyberguyz on 2/5/2013 8:01:02 AM , Rating: 1
And if the govt turned around and handed you 10 grand in subsidy money for your Hummer you'd tell them to keep their money for the damage you are going to do to the roads and environment? Yeah, right.

The governments wants us to buy environmentally responsible cars. Hence suckering us in with the subsidy to at lease help those that would have bought a gas-only car to choose a more economical option.

Do you really think charging $100/year (remember all surcharges and taxes always start off low like this until they have their foot in the door then WHAMMO! That 'measly' $100 turns into $1000-2000 before the dust settles -- and you fin it applicable not just to Hybrid/EVs, but to everybody . There is such a thing as setting precedent and believe me, you do NOT want them setting this one!

RE: But.......
By Reclaimer77 on 2/5/13, Rating: -1
By Philippine Mango on 2/5/2013 12:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
The headline makes it look like a hybrid/EV penalty however if they're just removing the gas tax and replacing it with this, it does seem more fair if and only if, you don't consider the fact that gas guzzling vehicles tend to be very heavy and it's heavy vehicles that actually damage the road. What they should do is change this gas tax so it's linear with the vehicle's GVWR or at least curb weight. Vehicles that weigh more should pay a higher tax and lighter vehicles should pay lesser tax. That would be the only fair way to do it and would eliminate the issue of efficient vehicles getting away with not paying any road tax.

It should be $1000
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/5/2013 1:01:53 PM , Rating: 1
I laugh at these dumbed down morons who things they are somehow doing the world a favor by buying one of these overpriced monstrosities. If you actually think you are reducing emissions and helping the earth, go look at the skyline over in china where these battery packs and other hi-tech hybrid car parts are manufactured.

By Argon18 on 2/4/2013 4:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
You sir are an asshat and a troll of the worst kind. May your armpits become infested with the fleas of a thousand camels.

By M'n'M on 2/5/2013 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
May your armpits become infested with the fleas of a thousand camels.

Uprated for the Carnac Curse !

In addition to the $100 annual non-gas tax...
By Beenthere on 2/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: In addition to the $100 annual non-gas tax...
By coondini on 2/4/2013 5:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
So what's your solution then? How do you propose we get away from using fossil fuel-powered vehicles?

RE: In addition to the $100 annual non-gas tax...
By bobcpg on 2/4/2013 5:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Let the fossil fuel run out. Then we will change. To propose a solution you need to believe there is a problem.

The only problem I see is the high cost of Gas. Also you'd be hard pressed to find an EV that was not powered by fossil fuels.

RE: In addition to the $100 annual non-gas tax...
By coondini on 2/4/2013 5:50:00 PM , Rating: 1
Rechargeable, replaceable fuel cell-powered vehicles is my solution. One that can go 500 miles on a charge, and either be recharged overnight or swapped out on the spot at a fuel cell recharge station with fully charged cells, then go another 500 miles...THIS is what they need to work on. It's 2013 for cryin' out loud...let's get with the dang program.

By M'n'M on 2/5/2013 11:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
Rechargeable, replaceable fuel cell-powered vehicles is my solution. One that can go 500 miles on a charge, and either be recharged overnight or swapped out on the spot at a fuel cell recharge station with fully charged cells, then go another 500 miles...THIS is what they need to work on. It's 2013 for cryin' out loud...let's get with the dang program.

Yes it is 2013 and you should learn how a fuel cell car works. You don't "recharge" them or "swap out a cell". You fill them up, like a regular car, but with (perhaps) a different fuel. Google Honda FCX Clarity.

By wordsworm on 2/5/2013 5:26:31 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, if Obama was a bit more left, it would be an easy solution: tax gasoline sports cars enough so that economy EVs are on par with the cost of an EV. So take that new Corvette as an example: add a $30,000 environmental tax to it and make the EV cost $15,000 (after tax incentives).

By Nutzo on 2/5/2013 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
And what do you do when all those auto workers who make the Corvette lose thier jobs?

Raising taxes on existing products, or subsidizing over priced products makes up all poorer in the long run.

By KCjoker on 2/5/2013 6:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
You might wanna do some research because the Corvette especially the new one gets better mpg than you'd think. And cars(sports cars) that get lower mpg already pay more tax because duh they use more gas.

By talikarni on 2/4/2013 5:23:28 PM , Rating: 1
agreed.... not to mention that the lithium and battery manufacturing plants pumping out gobs of pollution, so really the amount of pollution just from the manufacturing process of these hybrids doubles the pollution created versus a normal non-hybrid/battery powered vehicle.
* So these vehicles are much more expensive,
* manufacturing them puts out twice the pollution,
* importing the lithium and products needed forces more transportation pollution...

So once all factors are included, buying and driving a normal every day 15mpg SUV is saving the planet more than driving the hybrid and battery powered cars.

By bsd228 on 2/4/2013 5:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
EV buyers have been the beta tests for this new technology. Yes, there has been subsidization of the purchase price (and carpool lane stickers, etc) for them, but they are subsidizing the massive r&d of this effort as well.

Unless you want to insist we can drive 20-30mpg cars forever and will always be able to find new oil sources (at $100+ $/barrel), we have to move to more efficient cars, or ones that don't rely solely on petroleum to run.

The part about 5 years of useful live is nonsense. We heard it with the prius, even as the taxis proved otherwise. And we're still hearing it now.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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