ROADS/BRIDGES: Va. lawmakers look to eliminate new tax on energy-efficient vehicles

Many think the fee is unfair to those trying to protect the environment

News The Washington Post July 02, 2013
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Virginia’s new tax system, which is expected to generate over $1 billion for transportation projects, kicked in on July 1, and a group of state lawmakers was already trying to eliminate certain individuals from having to foot the bill.


Sen. Adam Ebbin was leading a charge to eliminate the $64 tax on those who drive hybrid or electric cars.


“It’s illogical, unfair, not well thought out and hastily passed,” he said.


Originally, Gov. Robert McDonnell wanted a $100 charge on energy-efficient vehicles, but after both the House and Senate rejected it a compromise was reached on the lower fee.


Virginia has about 91,800 alternative-fuel cars roaming the streets, so the tax would generate $5 million, but 80% of the owners are located in northern Virginia, where Ebbin and tax-fighting partner Del. Scott Surovell pull their votes.


“A lot of people [in northern Virginia] feel the tax was a poke in the eye,” said Surovell.


According to Ebbin and Surovell, several legislators have told them they would look to eliminate the fee if it was detached from the overall transportation bill.

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