Published: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
Not a good idea. Incentivize a purchase through tax credits, then penalize the
purchase with extra tax. Just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Only a bureaucrat would
think this is a better idea than lowering the credits and applying the savings
to highway maintenance. These tiny cars are already subsidizing larger
vehicles whose gross weight has much greater impact on roads. If anything, these
low-impact, low-emission vehicles need more incentives if we're serious
about air quality.
Tax policy is often used to drive behavior (e.g. discouraging smoking through
high cigarette taxes, encouraging large families through unlimited per-child
exemptions, etc.). This proposal serves to discourage the purchase of energy
efficient vehicles, and coincidentally to encourage the purchase of fossil-fuel
consuming vehicles. Is that really what we want? I'm guessing the
all-powerful fossil-fuel lobby is behind this one.Under this
proposal, an energy-efficient vehicle that is rarely used would be subject to a
surcharge while a heavy gas-guzzler that is driven constantly would be exempt
from the surcharge. But which one creates a greater burden on the roads? If
the real purpose is to place the burden of road maintenance proportionally on
those who use the roads (the more you use the roads, the more you pay), it would
make more sense to tax vehicles by weight and mileage rather than to penalize
Seriously? You took time to write a letter to the editor about making clean
cars pay more for registration? Go out and buy a clean car yourself. I love my
50 MPG Prius. I only fill up about once a month and even then it is only for 10
gallons. $30 a month. Sweet deal. Our legislature should be encouraging
everyone to buy one and clean our air. Get rid of the inversion!
Let's see; Salt Lake has the worst air quality in the United States. So you
want to make it worse. Seriously?
If we hear so much about a free market, why do we elect representative who will
create laws to prevent a free market. Like insisting that people pay the same
tax on vehicles and sales tax on goods made out of state. To be
"fair", the wear and tear on the road way has many facets. Weight,
miles driven, number of wheels, weather when driving, temperature, and even
driver attitude. Highways are constructed to allow for heavy commercial trucks
and even so, trucks are probably the greatest cause of road failure. A private
car could probably drive on the highway for many years without hurting such a
roadway. Then there's purpose to consider, should business
and private vehicles pay the same? What about religious vehicles and government
cars? How about emergency vehicles?
The first thing to do when a new or increased tax pops into the head of someone
is to determine if it is needed. What you do is go to the highway coffers and
look to see if there's money there. If so, forget about raising taxes. So
far, no one had said anything about needing more revenue for highways (that
I'm aware of) nor have politicians made budget/expenditure information
available for public viewing.
This letter isn't about air quality, it was about expecting every driver to
pay his fair share to use the roads that are funded with a fuel tax. A car that
gets 20 mpg uses 250% more fuel than a car that gets 50mpg. The inefficient
car's driver pays 250% more fuel taxes than the 50mpg driver. They use the
same roads. The wear and tear on those roads is similar per vehicle mile. Add a surcharge to the licensing fee based on miles per gallon with no
surcharge for vehicles that get the "average" number of miles per gallon
when the fuel tax was last changed, and vehicles getting "better" than
average being assessed a surcharge, not for air quality but as a fee in lieu of
the fuel tax not being paid. Surely no one is so arrogant to think
that others should not only subsidize his vehicle purchase but also subsidize
his use of the roads?
We should incentivize high efficiency, low emission vehicles in our
inversion-prone area, not discourage them. As the discussion is about a
ridiculous idea, how about some, not too serious, ideas of my own. Hybrids,
natural gas and electric vehicles have made the gas tax to fund transportation
obsolete. Eliminate it. Raise transportation funds from registration only. Base
it on annual mileage (encourage less driving), a five-tier fuel efficiency
scale, and the weight of the vehicle (an important factor in the wear and tear
on roads which is not considered with the present system). Give a discount to
essential large haulers. They would still pay more, but much of that would be
countered with lower fuel costs.
Bottom-line (your rational?) - ALL cars are more efficient therefore only a
select few cars that are the most efficient need to pay for everyone else's
transportation issues. Fact - Utah has only had an 105% increase in gas usage,
but at 206% greater use of Utah's roads. Efficiency for ALL vehicles has
improved (18 MPG to 25 MPG average).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 NGV. Some hybrid suburban
vehicles (SUV) actually use more gas than regular gasoline cars. Owners of
hybrids will have to pay BOTH taxes (current gas and the NEW PROPERTY TAX).There is no "fairness" to SB139. It is a direct attack on a
small part of society, with specific types of cars, for to pay for the decreased
use of gasoline by the whole state.
Raise the gas tax for all cars equally. For now until we get control of our
pollution problem don't tax cars that use natural gas.Tax
policy ought to encourage fuel efficiency, not be neutral, not discourage it. If
someone makes the effort to drive a fuel efficient car, fine let them pay less
Where is the fairness in using a lot of gas and polluting the air more than
necessary?Our military is partly devoted to assuring the oil supply
and we have gone and still are at risk of going to war to assure the oil supply.
This is extremely expensive.
The timing of this bill is terrible. There are only about 500 EVs currently on
the road. Charging them more, is hardly going to fill state coffers, it will
only serve to make sure we only ever have 500 on the road. Imagine our
inversions if every single occupant commuter vehicle were a zero-emission car?!
While the fairness idea may have SOME tiny amount of merit, the timing of this
is simply disastrous. Give the market a few years to get going. Then revisit
this idea. Furthermore, given the sad, sad state of electric car
charging infrastructure along the WF (I drive an EV, I know), EV drivers are
already accepting a small inconvenience on behalf of the community in order to
be part of the solution. Remember, the smog is all our own fault for driving our
gas vehicles, right?? So does the legislature wish to help alleviate this
problem, or not? Looks like, the answer is no, not really. They would prefer
to continue blaming the citizenry for our smog without doing anything to create
an environment in which individual action becomes collective action toward a
Seriously -- You took the time to write this letter?Increasing
the tax rate on a very few select vehicle owners is not considered EQUAL.I evoke the conservative rule of logic -- ANYONE can go out and
buy a more fuel efficient vehicle.Further more, this about as
silly and illogical as Rocky Mountain Power wanting to INCREASE the power rates
on those installing Solar Panels.Punish the Do gooders, Reward
the Evil Dooers.Ripening for destruction...
They are doing us a favor by helping to clean our air.It's
thinking like this, that will stop Utah from clearing up inversions.
To "Ultra Bob" before we get to taxing hybrid and electric vehicles for
the miles they drive on the roads, look up and see how much they are being
subsidized by the government. I find it ironic that the same people who
complain about oil companies and others getting tax cuts are the first to line
up to buy their subsidized hybrids/electric vehicles.
Electric only mandatory on inversion days. Tax polluting cars to pay for
Let us also raise the gas tax on gas hogs for all the pollution they cause.
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