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Va. House of Delegates votes to repeal ‘hybrid tax’ - will still tax BEV's

Discussion in 'News' started by Xenoilphobe, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Guess the taxes that Virginia Dominion Electric Power collects aren't enough for idiots in Richmond. We have to be the most backward state in the union.

    Va. House of Delegates votes to repeal ‘hybrid tax’ (only applies to Hybrids - not BEV's)

    By Michael Laris, Published: January 23

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/va-house-of-delegates-votes-to-repeal-hybrid-tax/2014/01/23/326a7dfe-8432-11e3-bbe5-6a2a3141e3a9_story.html?tid=hpModule_99d5f542-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394

    Virginia hybrid-vehicle owners rose up with a collective roar, and on Thursday the commonwealth took a big step toward getting rid of its much-reviled “hybrid tax.”
    Virginia’s House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to delete a $64 annual license tax imposed last year as part of a breakthrough transportation funding package. The state Senate has passed a comparable bill.
    From Annandale to Appomattox, more than 7,700 owners of Priuses, Civics and other hybrids had joined with their environmentally minded supporters in a petition drive seeking a reversal of the fee by the General Assembly. They flooded lawmakers with comments. “Backward thinking,” wrote one. “Ridiculous,” said another. “Just one more stupid Va law,” wrote another.
    “If we’re going to tax fuel efficiency, we might as well tax insulation and vegetables,” said Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), a sponsor of the Senate bill.
    “We might as well start taxing nonsmokers for not doing their fair share, either,” added Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Mount Vernon), another key opponent of the tax. “You were taxing people for doing the right thing.”
    One of the ideas behind the tax was to make sure all drivers pay their share of the cost of building and maintaining roads, which is funded in part through a tax on gasoline. If drivers use less gas, the thinking went, they end up contributing less for public roads.
    “I want to make sure we have a fair system,” said Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), who voted against ditching the hybrid tax. “They don’t get to use the roads for free just because they’ve gone green.”
    Opponents of the tax argued that it was designed and applied illogically. The owner of a Lexus hybrid getting 20 miles per gallon is currently subject to the $64 annual fee, noted Ebbin, but the owner of a Toyota Corolla getting 29 miles to the gallon is not. “I think that there’s a misguided perception that all hybrids use less gasoline than all standard engines, and that’s not accurate,” Ebbin said.
    Del. Vivian E. Watts (D-Fairfax), a former Virginia secretary of transportation, said the tax was “not thoughtful, not refined.” But she still voted Thursday to keep it in place. As more and more hybrids join the traffic rolling on the commonwealth’s roads, it will be a bad and costly precedent to allow drivers of one class of vehicles to avoid their share of road-building costs, she said.
    “For the first time, we’re creating a class of vehicles that can basically ride free,” said Watts, a longtime transit supporter who for years has been arguing for more transportation funding.
    All-electric cars will still have to pay the yearly $64 fee, and other green-leaning drivers of cars powered by liquefied natural gas also have to pay an alternate tax, because the gasoline tax that doesn’t apply to them, Watts said.
    Thursday’s house vote to ditch the tax was bipartisan, with Del. Thomas Davis Rust (R-Fairfax) netting significant GOP backing as a key sponsor of the House bill. Each house must pass the other chamber’s bill before the tax would be repealed.
    If the new measures become law as written, hybrid owners who prepaid their taxes for the year that begins July 1 would get a refund for that year, costing the state $2.2 million, according to a legislative analysis. Revenue losses would total $6.9 million in the first year and more than $10 million by 2020, according to the analysis.



     
  2. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    A better tax is a (weight * miles driven) fee. Based on vehicle weight and miles driven per year, submit a registration fee based on that. Of course, you can't make that fair either (even though it sounds like it) because you don't know if the miles were driven in-state or not. Registering a 1-ton Truck dually and a Prius currently sounds like it costs about the same yet the road "damage" done by them is still dwarfed by large trucks on the roads which may just be passing through the state and not even registered in-state.
     
  3. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    You don't know if the miles were driven in-state or not, but you can make a safe assumption that the overwhelming majority of miles driven for the average car are in the state in which is registered, which is good enough. The fringes (people registered in one state but mostly driving in the other...perhaps in border areas) mostly balance out, and there are so few of them percentagewise that it's not important.
     
  4. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Here in Virginia that would be easy. We are required to get an annual safety inspection. At the annual inspection the miles are reported to the state it would be easy to administer by the state police. That would be fair for all non commercial vehicles.
     
  5. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Exactly!

    Perhaps you can suggest this to Del. Vivian E. Watts (D-Fairfax), who voted to keep the tax in place dispite calling it “not thoughtful, not refined.”

    Larry
     
  6. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    #6 chickensevil, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
    The flaw here is we are arguing this all wrong. There was an amazing research paper by the cato institute (I believe) that talked specifically about how backwards the road taxes are. You dinky little car or even the giant truck doesn't do even HALF the damage that a Commercial Semi (18 wheeler) does. Yet, we pay well over half the taxes on the roads. If I recall it was something ridiculous like 80/20, but tax wise we are paying like 40/60 (them and us - respectively).

    Instead of fighting over private citizens not paying their "fair share" we should all band together against the corporations for not paying their "fair share" and stop screwing over Joe Citizen. Oh, but that would break the business model of big box retail and amazon! Why do you think they were able to get so large and over take the little local stores in the first place? Because you subsidized their expansion... (Interrestingly railroads and airplanes followed a very similar trend).

    All I am saying, if the gas person wants to complain that a hybrid or bev user isn't paying their "fair share"... just remember this system hasn't been "fair" from the beginning.

    Edit: I did try to find the article I was referencing and can't quite put my finger on it.
     
  7. 772

    772 Member

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    A per-mile tax would probably cause some people to drive less and take less trips outside of town. That could be a good thing in terms of energy use. It could also potentially affect businesses/resorts that get most of their money from customers visiting from out of town. An unintended consequence, but it could happen.
     
  8. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Runs contrary to her environmental statements. Those statements carry no weight as Virginians get no support for Solar/Wind or BEVs - her tag line is "working hard for us".. believe a more accurate statement is "hardly working for us".

    Frankly she is trying to protect the road maintenance revenues. If they would just spend those taxes where they collect them we would have no issues. Northern Virginia subsidizes the rest of the state and does not get the return on the investment that NOVA provides for the Virginia Tax base. After this winter we are going to need some investment in road repair!

    I agree with post above - place the burden on those that place the heaviest weight and damage on our roads. Lets start with trailers that i see everyday (Walmart, Sheets, Interstate, Shell, etc)

    Her policy statement on the environment:
    Nowhere is the health and well-being of future generations more at-stake than in our actions to protect the environment, invest in green energy and conservation, and preserve Virginia's unique and irreplaceable natural heritage. Through well-reasoned policy decisions, we can strengthen Virginia's economy as we conserve her resources.

     
  9. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    Xenoilphobe - The big problem is minus the expansion they are doing right now (and the HOT expansion for 495) when was the last time they even TRIED to do anything to expand 95? NOVA has gotten so wrecked by the constant increases in traffic and the lack of ANYTHING being done. I am all for paying for roads (I would rather it went to a private business venture... but hey whatever), but they are not and have not, been doing hardly anything to help our transportation system here is NOVA and it frustraits me to no end.

    They need to at a minimum increase the lanes from Downtown DC all the way to Fredericksburg by 3 lanes across the board. The main lines get so backed up practically 24/7 these days it is retarded, and it isn't from a lack of carpooling. All the carpool lots are always so full that people are parking on the grass/sidewalks/wherever else they can fit. It isn't for lack of using the VRE, That gets so bad that you barely get standing room on certain times (and it isn't cheap either...)

    The construction they are doing right now, is what should have been done in the 90s... we are about 30 years too late on that expansion, and is just a bandaid fix to the problems... NOVA practically funds the entire state by itself, but we get hardly anything for it in return. A study at a Texas university rated "time lost" as the worst here in DC for commuting. It is depressing to say the least.
     

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