Letter: SB139's faulty logic

Published: Sunday, Feb. 23 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

I find a fault in the logic in SB139. This is a effectively a new property tax on a select few. I have heard different state senators say that all cars are more efficient, but they want a select few that own the most efficient to pay more property tax. SB139 is asking those with the most efficient vehicles to pay for the state’s transportation problems, as well as reduce the obviously hazardous air that we breathe. Using this logic the state should charge the oldest and least efficient vehicles more taxes.

In a survey, two thirds of Utah’s registered voters have continual concerns about Utah’s air quality. Additionally, Gov. Gary Herbert's Clean Air Action Team has produced recommendations to improve air quality, which included encouraging use of tougher air quality standards. These options are initially financially costly, but can improve the general long-term air quality along the Wasatch Front.

SB139 only considers the administrative financial decision by the state of Utah to use the gasoline tax as a user-tax to pay for its roads. It further fails to consider that the electric and NGV use the same amount of gasoline (zero), but the electric vehicle would have to pay $30 more fees, and to further consider that the hybrid, which uses gasoline, pays more than the natural gas vehicles. Hybrids will have to pay both taxes.

What is the strategic message from the state? Is incentivizing air quality measures more important than a financial accounting measure? What is the message the state wants to send?

David Major

Layton

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