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More Trouble in NC: Senate proposing electric & hybrid drivers pay more fees

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by twinklejet, May 31, 2013.

  1. twinklejet

    twinklejet Member

    Mar 10, 2013

    Hybrid car drivers could pay additional fee in North Carolina

    RALEIGH—North Carolina drivers who use hybrid cars could end up paying for it in the long run.

    State lawmakers in the Senate have proposed drivers pay an additional fee if they drive a hybrid or electric car.

    They are the car industry's answer to going green. Gas prices are a big reason the hybrid cars have become more popular but if you own one in North Carolina it could cost you.
    "The old system of collecting money for our roads is outdated. If this is the best way that we can do that then we're going to be in some trouble for a very long time," said NC Sierra Club Communications Director Dustin Chicurel-Bayard.
    One item in the Senate budget calls for drivers to pay an additional fee when they renew their car registration. For hybrid cars the fee would be $50, electric cars the fee would be $100. Since hybrid cars use less gas supporters say the fees would help the state collect that money they lose from the gas tax back in order to fund road projects.
    While the proposed fee is sure to impact drivers of hybrid and electric cars it also could have an impact on car dealerships as well.

    "That would be on the individual buying the car if they felt that that was something they wanted to pay or don't pay. I don't know if that fee would necessarily deter someone from buying," said Bobby Murray Chevrolet General Sales Manager
    Chicurel-Bayard said he understands everyone has to pay their fair share but feels this is the wrong way to go about doing that.

    "We need to look at overall how we raise the money for our infrastructure and find new solutions rather than penalizing people who drive clean cars," said Chicurel-Bayard.
    The House is now in the process of working on their version of a budget. It is unclear if the House supports the new fees.

    Derivative Article:

    NC Wants Hybrid And Electric Car Owners To Pay A Fee For Efficiency

    You'd think electric and hybrid cars said something awful about North Carolina's mom, what with how they want to ban Tesla sales and now this extra fee for hybrid and electric car owners. I don't think the reason is that a Prius suggested that sweet Mrs.Carolina put a Whopper on lay-away, but rather that old favorite reason: money.

    See, like many states, North Carolina pays for its roads and related infrastructure with a gasoline tax. Cars that use less gas means less money in gas taxes for the state. Hence the $50 (hybrid) and $100 (electric) annual registration extra fees for these more efficient cars.

    While it's easy to see why NC is doing this, it's a pretty lousy way to go about it, mostly because it penalizes efficiency, which is a bad idea any way you look at it. While it's unlikely that the fees will actually disuade people from buying these cars, there's still got to be a better way that can encourage less reliance on fossil fuels, which really will be better for everybody.

    Besides, what about those crazy hypermiling freaks with their Geo Metros covered in cardboard aero panels? Those bastards are getting 50 MPG+ and getting away with it, scott free!
  2. caddieo

    caddieo Member

    Mar 21, 2013
    Palm Coast, FL
    The fairest tax for generating highway funds, IMHO, would be one based on mileage regardless of the vehicle used. Take the odometer reading at each license plate annual renewal and base the tax on the miles driven over the preceding year. A fudge factor could be employed to modify the tax based on vehicle weight.
  3. dflye

    dflye S Sig Perf 414, VIN 814

    Oct 7, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I've proposed similar things in the past to friends, but there are a few issues that would be a challenge to deal with:

    • Unless done nationally, would need a way to exempt miles driven out of state
    • Would need to gather this tax on a frequent basis, preferably automatic deduction from paycheck (as a LOT of folks wouldn't save money to pay this if it was a year-end tax)
    • There would need to be a hefty multiplier based upon number of axles and the vehicle's loaded weight, as most road damage is done by (overloaded) trucks AFAIK
    • If not done nationally, would need a way to tax "foreign" vehicles driven in state (especially trucks)
    I really don't see this type of "fair" tax being implementable unless done nationally and estimated payments taken out of paycheck.

    Either that, or you'd have to turn EVERY road into a toll road. That'll generate lots of jobs for toll-takers and get the unemployment rate down at least. :wink:

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