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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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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.

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