In about three weeks time, Washington State residents are going to have to pay $100 a year to own and operate an electric car.
The logic behind the fee was sound enough. As an pure electric car owner, no gas would be purchased, and thus no money would be contributed to funding of transportation infrastructure in the state. We thought the program might be a arriving a touch early and could hurt the adoption of electric vehicles, but still reasonable in the lng run.
Now, Virginia is going to go one better. And by one better, we mean one worse.
2013 Nissan LEAF Will Be 20% Costlier To Operate In Virginia
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says that revenue from the gas tax has become stagnent; partly due to the flattening of oil prices, but also because the national fuel economy MPG figure is at an all-time high - 23.8 MPG (6% better than 2011), and rising thanks to more efficient vehicles on the road.
The solution? Forget the gas tax entirely! Make the general population and alternative fuel owners pay more.
“We simply cannot continue to do what we have always done and expect this problem to go away. The gas tax is a stagnant revenue source, and no changes to it will provide a reliable growth mechanism for transportation in the state.”
Virginia's gas tax is already one of the lowest in the nation at 17.5 cents per gallon, but this proposal would see the fee scrapped, and the state's tax (which currently sits at 5%...and always generates more revenue year over year) increased to .8 cents on the dollar.
All drivers would also incure a new $15 registration fee.
But as a "special bonus," all owners of plug-in AND hybrid vehicles would also face a $100 annual fee as well due to the fact they are paying less (or no) federal gas taxes. Lets just nevermind the fact that a third of the population doesn't even own a car, but will still foot their 'share' of the state's former 17.5 cent gas tax.
Finally, The Plug-In Prius Gets The Same Respect As The Chevrolet Volt. $100 Fee Applies To Both...And The Standard Prius Hybrid Too!
The state's 91,000 registered plug-in and hybrid vehicles would be affected by this change if enacted.
McDonnell says that his proposal will generate $884 million annually. $3.1 billion for transportation funding over five years, with $1.8 billion of that going to highway construction,
If you are driving around a Ford F350 to buy groceries, or taking an Audi R8 to work, you are going to save a lot of money. Driving a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt? Not so much.
Maybe the 71st Governor of Virginia should check out his state's motto again. Sic Semper Tyrannis - "Thus Always to Tyrants"