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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I would like to share with Gov. Bob McDonnell my perspective on the impending transportation bill awaiting his signature. My background is in engineering. Thus, I try to evaluate problems from an analytical approach.
The one part of the bill that seems completely contradictory to existing Virginia code pertains to the proposed $100 annual fee (tax) on hybrid vehicles.
I will not cite the complete code regarding energy; however, I am listing a few specific line items to illustrate my point:
“ 67-101. Energy objectives.
“The Commonwealth recognizes each of the following objectives pertaining to energy issues will advance the health, welfare, and safety of the residents of the Commonwealth. . . .
“6. Using energy resources more efficiently;
“7. Facilitating conservation; . . .
“9. Increasing Virginia’s reliance on sources of energy that, compared to traditional energy resources, are less polluting of the Commonwealth’s air and waters . . . .”
“ 67-801. Efforts to increase CAFE standards.
“It is the policy of the Commonwealth to support federal action that provides for:
“1. An increase [in] the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks) standards from the current standard by promoting performance-based tax credits for advanced technology, fuel-efficient vehicles to facilitate the introduction and purchase of such vehicles; and
“2. Market incentives and education programs to build demand for high-efficiency, cleaner vehicles, including tax incentives for highly efficient vehicles.”
The last line even mentions tax incentives as a means to promote the use of hybrid vehicles.
Although the tax incentives have now expired for certain vehicles, it seems unreasonable to create law that is a tax disincentive.
I applaud both Del. Kathy Byron and Sen. Steve Newman for opposing this bill. I urge the governor to strike this item from the transportation bill.
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