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Highway funding ideas include taxes on hybrids

tokumeitokumei Posts: 1
edited March 6 in Honda
I found this article in the Seattle PI on November 26th. The link to the article is below -
One proposal is that owners of hybrids and other alternative fuel vehicles pay a vehicle fee, the argument being that drivers should bear their fair share to fill the potholes and fix the bridges, regardless of how much or what kind of fuel they use.

If you think this is as crazy as it sounds, please send a short e-mail to your congressman and have this nipped in the bud.

Thanks.

T

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/249811_gastax26.html

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    If you think this is as crazy as it sounds,

    What if you think it is a logical way to maintain the highway revenue? Another post today declares 99 million gallons of gas saved by HSD. That is about $25 million in lost road tax. Rather than all the wasted money for a GPS device to track miles. It would be easier to just tack $100 to the license fee each year for hybrids, to cover the lost revenue.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    The should tack it on to TDIs too. Any car that gets 40mpg highway should pay $500 more per year. Sounds fair.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    First of all, it's complete discrimination. Targeting one group and taxing them differently because they are smart enough to own a high MPG vehicle is unfair and unlawful.

    I will start an ACLU-backed lawsuit if anyone tries to tax me more because I had the foresight and intelligence to purchase a high MPG commuter car.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    UH, I'll have to disagree with you that it is something the ACLU would get involved in. If that were true, we'd have a flat tax on income instead of those who make more being put in a higher tax bracket. (I'll leave it at that rather than derailing the discussion into tax reform...)

    As for fees - a great story last night on one of the local news stations in San Francisco. They were interviewing salespeople and potential hybrid customers at dealerships about a tax. The comments were basically that people are already willing to pay more for a hybrid version of a vehicle (e.g. Honda Civic EX Sedan / automatic invoice = $17,422 v. Honda Civic Hybrid sedan invoice = $19,967) so slapping an addition tax of up to $1500 would be insane.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    If this starts getting legislated and voted on, my guess is that Hybrid owners will lose the vote.

    There are so few of us, that we are in the vast vast minority, and the other drivers will look at it as "it's not a tax on ME, so why not?"

    This will have to be stopped before it ever gets voted on or it will not be stopped.

    As far as the ACLU, this is DEFINITELY a case of "civil liberties of a select small group of people being violated" by taxing them because of something they bought, while not taxing another person for something THAT PERSON bought.

    Person A drives a Civic EX
    Person B drives a Civic Hybrid
    Tax person B

    That in itself is discrimination.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    In Arizona, cars are registered based on fees calculated from a percentage of base MSRP.

    So Hybrids are ALREADY "taxed" more than the comparable gas model.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Same in CA - you are taxed on the price you paid.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,860
    There are taxes on gas, but we're trying to encourage less fuel consumption, and suddenly there's going to be "lost revenue" :surprise:

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  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    First of all, it's complete discrimination. Targeting one group and taxing them differently because they are smart enough to own a high MPG vehicle is unfair and unlawful.

    I agree. So we should repeal those tax credits/deductions too.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This topic about unfairly taxing hybrids because they get higher MPG.

    If you want to talk about tax incentives, go to THAT board.

    The two have nothing to do with one another, other than the fact that they are completely opposing views:

    1. Here's a tax credit/deduction - please buy a Hybrid !!
    2. Oh, and here's and EXTRA GAS TAX - because you bought a hybrid !!
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I guess the idiots on capitol hill didn't think it through (as usual). On one hand, the want to encourage conservation so they give incentives to people who buy hybrids. Now the Chamber of Commerce realizes that there will be less revenue. Of course there will be!!! Simple solution. Just raise the fed gas tax from $0.186 to $1.00. Problem solved.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    That in itself is discrimination.

    First off it is not only hybrids. It will be all high mileage cars that will be asked to pay their fair share of the cost of maintaining roads. If any group are discriminated against it would be the Hummer2 owners that pay 5 times as much road tax as the Prius, Jetta TDI and HCH drivers. As was pointed out taxation in this country has never been fair. The fairest tax would be a combination of PSI on the road & mileage. The HCH should not get by with half the tax of a regular Civic. That is discrimination. I would not spend that tax credit until 2007 when the IRS decides how it will be doled out.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    I guess the idiots on capitol hill didn't think it through

    The right hand giveth and the left hand taketh away. It is obvious the Energy dept. is not in touch with the transportation dept.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "If you want to talk about tax incentives, go to THAT board.

    The two have nothing to do with one another....."


    Sorry, larsb, I'm going to have to disagree.

    Both tax situations under discussion (the tax credits for a hybrid purchase and the additional taxes on hybrids to cover lost gas tax revenue) discriminate. One is a discrimintation in favor of hybrids, the other a discrimination against. Both situations set up a different tax climate than the purchase of 'normal' vehicles. And playing with the tax system to discriminate (whether in favor of or against something) is a two-edged sword.

    Is taxing hybrids more because they get higher mileage fair? No. But at the same time, is if 'fair' for the government to subsidize the sale of hybrids with tax credits? To that, I would also say 'No.'

    Personally, I'm getting sick and tired of the government using the tax system to target any specific group, service, industry or product, either favorably or unfavorably.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Not getting a tax credit is not unfair to Buyer "A" who buys a Civic EX and does not get a tax credit because he, as a buyer, is doing nothing "for the public good."

    Whereas buyer "B" who buys a Civic Hybrid is doing MUCH for the environment and for reducing fossil fuel consumption.

    Thus the whole "and valid" point for the tax credit/deduction given for taking a POSITIVE action to help all of us buy buying a hybrid.

    Now, then turning around and taxing Buyer "B" *SOLELY BECAUSE* his car now uses less fossil fuel - that's ludicrous, ridiculous, idiotic, and unfair.

    If the government wants to increase gas tax revenue by taxing ALL CARS by the miles driven, in order to recoup lost taxes caused by ALL CARS becoming more fuel efficient, then that's fair.

    Taxing only SOME of the drivers is the unfair part, and nothing any of you can say will CAUSE THAT TO BECOME FAIR.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,713
    As far as the ACLU, this is DEFINITELY a case of "civil liberties of a select small group of people being violated" by taxing them because of something they bought, while not taxing another person for something THAT PERSON bought.

    Actually that would be a case that would be hard, if not impossible, to win. Many taxes are item specific and everyone of them have stood up in court.

    Now if both person A and person B both in the same jurisdiction at the same time bought a Civic EX or both bought a Civic Hybrid and were taxed differently then you would have a case. However since both cars are different the case falls apart.

    FWIW taxes by there very nature are discriminatory.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,713
    I am going to have to agree with rorr on this one. Both are tax consequences of buying a hybrid. Since one favors you you are in favor of it, and since the other does not favor you you are against it.

    In other words you want it both ways. Don't tax me because I bought a hybrid, just reduce mine because I did.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,713
    Shouldn't doing whats "for the public good" be its own reward? Shouldn't the supposive $ savings be enough?

    Taxing only SOME of the drivers is the unfair part, and nothing any of you can say will CAUSE THAT TO BECOME FAIR.

    Ok lets be fair, junk the luxury tax and the gas guzzler tax, because taxing some of the drivers is unfair. Oh and while we are at it get rid of the hybrid tax credit because we want to be fair.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    In other words you want it both ways. Don't tax me because I bought a hybrid, just reduce mine because I did.

    I wish I had said that. Very well expressed.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I never said anything about "wanting it both ways" at all. Please dont try to attribute quotes to me that I don't make.

    What I did say, and I stand by, is that taxing a person for miles driven JUST BECAUSE THEY OWN A HIGH MILEAGE VEHICLE is unfair, if you do not tax ALL the drivers for miles driven.

    In other words, don't pick out hybrid drivers for additional taxation just because they were smart enough to buy a hybrid. If you want to tax ALL DRIVERS for miles driven to make up in lost gas tax revenue, then count me in.

    But don't tax me more because my car gets better gas mileage. THAT'S the UNFAIR part.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    tax benefits to encourage buyers to purchase hybrids.

    If you want to talk about that, go to that Forum, but please stop bringing it up here - they are OPPOSITE things.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    don't pick out hybrid drivers for additional taxation just because they were smart enough to buy a hybrid.

    Taxation by the mile as is being implemented in Oregon and proposed in CA is for ALL vehicles. Not just high mileage cars. How can you disregard the fact that hybrid drivers are just as much responsible for maintaining the highways as the non-hybrid drivers. It has nothing to do with how clean the car's exhaust may be. It has to do with miles driven on our highways. We are not talking big bucks here. The average 15k mile driver would be paying less than $200 per year in mileage tax. In Oregon that will be in place of the regular state gas tax.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    until it starts charging me UNFAIRLY.

    If the states want to charge more gas taxes because the fuel economy of the whole fleet of drivers in that state has gone up and they are collecting less gas tax, then fine.

    My point is: don't single out one group and say "it's their fault we are collecting less taxes, so let's tax them MORE" because that is simply unfair and untrue.

    For states to apply that sort of tax is them being blinded by greed.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,713
    I never said anything about "wanting it both ways" at all. Please dont try to attribute quotes to me that I don't make.

    Whoa hold on there cowboy, when I said that I wasn't making a direct quote from you. But while it isn't exactly what you said that is the underlying tone of your posts here.

    In post number 6 you said

    "As far as the ACLU, this is DEFINITELY a case of "civil liberties of a select small group of people being violated" by taxing them because of something they bought, while not taxing another person for something THAT PERSON bought.

    Person A drives a Civic EX
    Person B drives a Civic Hybrid
    Tax person B

    That in itself is discrimination."

    In other words its unfair if you (a hybrid owner) gets an extra tax.

    Now in post number 16 you said:

    "Not getting a tax credit is not unfair to Buyer "A" who buys a Civic EX and does not get a tax credit because he, as a buyer, is doing nothing "for the public good." "

    In other words it is fair that you (a hybrid owner) gets a tax break.

    So basically you are saying "Don't tax me because I have a hybrid, but give me my tax break because I have a hybrid". You do want it both ways.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,713
    Actually it has everything to do with it. Both are tax consequences of buying a hybrid and both should be addressed. If you are against a special tax treatment in the way of additional taxes on hybrid owners because it is unfair then you should also be against a special tax treatment in the way of a tax credit to hybrid owners because it is unfair.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,713
    Fair is a relative thing. Are you paying your fair amount if you are driving a vehicle with very high mileage? Most likely not, most likely you are paying much less per mile driven then the average driver. So is that fair? You will say yes because thats what is relative to you. Others will say no its not.

    Since you are getting special tax treatment for buying one maybe you should not be so upset about other special tax treatments.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "tax benefits to encourage buyers to purchase hybrids. "

    Let me see if I can get this straight:

    You are AGAINST additional taxes which target a specific group of people (additional taxes for hybrid owners).

    Yet, at the same time, you are FOR tax credits which target a specific group of people (buyers of hybrids).

    Your rational for being against the additional taxes are that they are 'unfair' SINCE THEY TARGET A SPECIFIC GROUP. Yet, by this SAME LOGIC, wouldn't tax credits ALSO be 'unfair' since they target a specific group?

    Both tax scenarios (tax credits and additional taxes) target specific groups. Just because one 'encourages' while the other 'punishes' doesn't make one more or less 'fair' than the other.

    Would you be happier if this thread where re-titled "Hybrids and Taxes" so we could discuss both scenarios? Would that be 'fair'?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,860
    Time to cool down here.

    And let's try to avoid making sweeping, disparaging generalizations about groups of people as well. I've removed the last post for that reason.

    Let's not go off the deep end, OK?

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    The two have nothing to do with one another, other than the fact that they are completely opposing views:

    You are probably right. The tax incentive for driving a clean car has little to do with the fact that a hybrid has the same impact on the road system as a non-hybrid. The Congress is trying to find ways to maintain the road system with a drop in highway revenues. That loss of revenue is directly related to less gas bought per mile driven. Logical solution is to tax by the mile driven.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,909
    I will propose to my Senators and Congressman that a flat 2 cents per mile be charged to all vehicles on the highways. One cent to be given to the state the other to the Feds for maintaining our highways. That will be a little more than the current gas tax and should be enough to start fixing our infrastructure. A fair tax would be a true novelty.
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