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Tell Gov. Bob To Veto The Hybrid Tax

by: kindler

Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 22:07:52 PM EST


Delegate Scott Surovell and Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Awesomeness) have created a petition to urge Governor McDonnell to "Veto the Hybrid Tax"!  The immediate goal is to get the governor to use his line item veto to remove this anti-clean energy provision from the transportation bill.

Whether this works or not, keep in mind the equally important goal of demonstrating the power of those who support clean energy and sustainability policy -- of which Virginia remains one of the most backward states, and not getting any better.  Unless we speak up now, we -- and future generations -- will continue to be ignored.

As Del. Surovell summarizes the reasons to kill the green car tax, in an email to supporters

This is bad policy.

The Hybrid Tax punishes saving energy. Virginia needs to create incentives to encourage energy conservation so America can be energy independent. Most states are giving tax credits for hybrid purchases, not punishing owners.

kindler :: Tell Gov. Bob To Veto The Hybrid Tax
The Hybrid Tax is a punitive tax.  The typical hybrid vehicle saves less than $35 per year in gas taxes - a $100 annual fee has no relationship to anything.  

The Hybrid Tax is unfair.  There are many non-hybrid vehicles that get better MPG than hybrids.  They don't pay the tax.  This indiscriminately picks on one technology.

Hybrid owners already pay their fair share.  Hybrids already cost 10% more than other cars and there is no personal property tax phaseout for vehicles worth more than $20,000.  

The Hybrid Tax will barely generate revenue.  There are only 92,000 hybrids in Virginia - 1.3% of the entire vehicle fleet.  

The Hybrid Tax picks on Northern Virginia.  83% of Virginia clean fuel plates are registered in Northern Virginia.  This is one more example of Northern Virginia being used as a statewide piggy bank.

I like the spirit of these guys, fighting well into overtime for what's right.  Please take just a minute to join them and add your name to the list.  

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Hybrid drivers Vs. Trucking industry? (0.00 / 0)
It seems one hell of a lot more likely that he'll line item the diesel tax than the hybrid tax.

Hybrid drivers are the antithesis McD's constituency.  Unlike hybrid drivers, the trucking and construction lobby can bring money to this fight. He might want to just harmonize diesel with the gasoline tax, though it's doubtful he could pull that off with a line item.

It's possible he strikes both, but if McD does nix the hybrid tax it can only be because he's heavily courting NoVa voters...  Why would he do that?  Have his people conned him into thinking he truly has a chance against Warner?  

Taking on Warner is a likely career killer.  Though really, what other choice does he have?  5 years in the wilderness, then pop up to fight Kaine, or right into the wood chipper against Warner? No guts, no glory.


The math is wrong. (0.00 / 0)
I just did a simple Excel spreadsheet which shows the following result:

Miles 15,000  15,000 15,000
MPG 40  30     20
Gallons 375  500        750
$/gal $3.75  $3.75        $3.75
Cost/yr $1,406.25 $1,875.00 $2,812.50

Also see this helpful chart.

At $3.80 per gallon, if your car averages 41 MGP (like a Prius does, approximately), it costs you about $1,391 a year in gas. If your car averages 23 MPG (like an SUV does), it costs you about $2,481 a year in gas.  

So, the savings between driving a Prius 15,000 miles a year and driving an SUV 15,000 miles a year is something like $1,100 a year. The hybrid fee eats up $100 of that (although only $50 of that is an increase, right?).

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Re: The Math is Wrong (0.00 / 0)
The article says "saves less than $35 per year on gas taxes"

I get 41 mpg with my prius, the tax rate for VA is 0.175/gallon, if I drive 15000, I've paid $65.25 in taxes.

My husband drives a Subaru, he gets 30 mpg, same tax rate 0.175/gallon if he drives the same distance, 15000 he's paid $87.50 in taxes.

I've only saved $22.50 in VA gas taxes.

Also this is not a $50 increase, the $50 fee before was for electric vehicles, not hybrids. This is a brand new fee of $100 for hybrid vehicles.

The savings per gallon that your estimating is not the same as the taxes, and the overall higher cost of a hybrid takes years to be offset by the savings at the pump, but the issue here is the extra tax, not the cost of a commodity.


[ Parent ]
Ahhhhh...you're right. (0.00 / 0)
Thanks.

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[ Parent ]
So, here's the deal...a hybrid costs more than (0.00 / 0)
a conventional vehicle, ceteris parabis, BUT you save money on gas. In the case of the Prius, compared to a 20 mile-per-gallon SUV or whatever, you save $1,400 per year (now minus $100 because of this stupid hybrid fee), which adds up to $14,000 over 10 years (assuming you drive 15k miles per year and the price of gasoline is $3.75 per gallon). If your Prius cost around $25,000, the $14,000 savings on gas over 10 years (minus $1,000 for the $100 per year, idiotic hybrid fee) would put a rather large dent in that...

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[ Parent ]
costs of gas vs costs of taxes (0.00 / 0)
What you're comparing here is the values of a purchases an individual decides to make, not the whether a tax is fairly implemented.

Take away the fact that it's a hybrid and just compare two commodities. If I buy 3 apples and you buy 6, should I should pay more taxes per apple just because I'm spending half as much on apples?

The fact that someone saved money by not buying something is not a sufficient reason to impose a tax. The difference of the total amount money spent on gas isn't relevant.

The argument that hybrids create equal wear and tear on the road is a valid argument; but you can only compare how much we each pay in taxes.


[ Parent ]
rounding error (0.00 / 0)
Sorry for the math on my priusI used 40 mpg like you had done in your chart.
If it's 41 mpg, I've paid $64 in VA tax, so I've saved $23.75 in Va tax, still nominal savings in VA taxes, completely disproportional to instating $100 fee for having a hybrid.

[ Parent ]
No problem, thanks for the corrections (0.00 / 0)
including on my brain fart earlier... :)

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[ Parent ]
And the "justification" is even less under the new tax regime... (0.00 / 0)
If the difference is $22 at 17 cents a gallon, at the 12 cents I've heard estimated for the wholesale tax, the "tax break" for hybrid owners would drop to about $16.  

But this is the kind of hippie-bashing that Rethugs love, so I agree with HarperJ that  McD is unlikely to veto it. No reason not to make a political statement with the petition, however.   And all the more reason to vote for a Democratic governor, Lt. Gov, AG, and HoD this year.  This goes on the list of things to fix whenever we take the state back.  


My guess is that the overwhelming majority of Prius owners (0.00 / 0)
are Democrats. So, this may not be "hippie bashing," but it's definitely "Democrat bashing." It's also a big, wet, sloppy kiss to the oil industry, which would love to see Americans "addicted" (as Dubya said) to oil as long as possible.

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[ Parent ]
Prius Owners (0.00 / 0)
The most recent reliable demographic info I could find on Prius owners press release from 2007:

http://www.scarborough.com/pre...

There is some interesting stuff, though it's hard to judge values from a press release(the actual report isn't available for free):
58% D (38% democrats, 20% independent who feel closer to democrats)
20% R (14% republicans, 6% independents who feel closer to republicans)
(7% strictly independent, 15% did not affiliate with any political party)
But a more interesting result was that Prius owners are more likely to vote.

I personally fall into the 15% without affiliation, I also didn't buy a prius for the typical reasons, gas saves, environment, political, I was motivated by technology, which was brand new at the time I was poised to buy my first new car.

I also don't really care about the $100 fee, I care more about the math of it.

By comparison to other things McDonnell has done during his term (isn't he tired of VA government being a punchline?) the hybrid tax isn't that bad.


[ Parent ]
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