Virginia to tax hybrid owners

Political correctness gets taxed.

“In Washington State, which is not exactly known as a hotbed of conservative culture war emanations, the state imposed a similar $100 annual fee on hybrid owners at the end of last year. So while I can understand how it looks when Virginia is seemingly lessening the burden on regular cars while imposing new costs on hybrid owners, the simple fact of the matter is that these annual fees may soon be widespread, regardless of how future discussions about gasoline taxes go.”

Read more at the Huffington Post.

22 thoughts on “Virginia to tax hybrid owners”

  1. Ah, okay. So your commute is highway. It would make sense that you’re mpg would be higher than average. A hybrid offers no advantage in mpg for highway commuters – I admit, it would be a waste of money.

    I put a little over 23,000 miles on the car per year in stop and go city traffic (I travel from hospital to hospital – medical research). The standard Camry gets 24.6 mpg around town. The hybrid gets 37 mpg around town. That’s a $1,286 savings per year in fuel for me over the standard Camry. Plus there’s other back end savings I won’t go into (no, not taxes).

    So, here’s the real crux of the debate… I have a car that gets 37 mpg. So far, several people have chimed in and told me they own cars that have the same fuel efficiency. Now, explain why you think I should be happy to pay special new taxes for owning a car you have asserted is essentially no different from yours?

  2. I don’t know about that link, just what 5 years of data from a 55 mile commute and my wallet told me. I averaged 37, ranging from 34 to 39 depending on wind and driving conditions. My new Fit gets 41, ranging from 39 to 43.

  3. You’re basing your estimates on one use scenario that is clearly not representative of mine. If you were still a manager you would be basing your consideration on your company’s use scenario and not some Internet article.

    By my calculations, I figure I’ve saved a good $6,000 to $8,000 over the buy-in and back-end cost of ownership of a non-hybrid Camry across the five years I’ve owned the vehicle. My math tells me that a good enough deal to consider doing it again when maintenance costs on the car start to climb. When the vehicle starts to wear out and maintenance goes up, I’ll unload it like every car I’ve ever owned.

    … and the price of gas will increase by another 20 cents in the next few months.

  4. So what’s the point? I could have bought a car for less? I did the calculations five years ago that the hybrid would save me money in my use scenario. Five years later, my calculations proved more than accurate. With gas prices above $4.00 a gallon today and necessarily skyrocketing as Zero promised, whether you would own hybrid or not, it was a good financial decision on my part and gets better all the time.

    Anyway, this price argument of yours… if price were the only consideration, you could have purchased your son a Nisson Versa (~40 mpg) at $4,000 less than the Civic so by your logic you overpaid for the Civic. Or was it you wanted a Civic over a Versa for reasons other than price?

  5. Looking at and doing some quick calculations, I figure you paid $3,000 extra for hybrid, and you save $380 per year.

    If I were still a manager, I wouldn’t approve a project with that return.

    But I will admit that I expected the difference between hybrid and standard was $6,000. At a $3,000 difference, the hybrid almost makes sense. For someone living in California, with $5 gasoline, it might very well make sense.

  6. I’m sure there’s plenty of subcompacts out there that get as good or better gas mileage if you don’t mind squeezing into one of them. I needed a family sized car that could transport two adults and three teens – the reason why a Honda Civic wasn’t even under consideration at any price.

  7. I paid the same price as a standard non-hybrid Camry (in fact a little less). End of the year – get it off the lot before the dealer had to start making payments on it deal. It pays to shop around and buy end of year.

  8. My son owns a Honda Civic. He gets 37 mpg around town. I paid $16,000 for it. What did you [over]pay for that Camry?

  9. I own a Camry Hybrid. At the current price of gas, the car is saving me money. I like that I go to the gas station every other week and get > 500 miles per tank (37 mpg around town). It’s five years old and still one of the the best cars I’ve owned with no maintenance costs above the usual oil changes and other normal maintenance you would pay on any other car.

    I own a Land Rover (11 mpg) as my other vehicle and have no guilt about driving it when needed (although admittedly, it sits in the driveway most of the time) . Personally, I don’t give a crap about “saving the planet” because I don’t think it needs to be saved. I think global warming is the new religion for watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside).

    I think people like you are ideologically closed minded to the notion that there are certain use scenarios where a hybrid makes sense. An individual that knows how to use a calculator might buy one for reasons other than “feeling warm and fuzzy inside.” I’m just saying.

  10. Hybrids are uneconomic in the first place. Federal tax credits offset some of the extra cost, that might tilt the economic calculus in favor of the hybrid (plus CA issues permits for a limited number of hybrids to use “high occupancy” lanes (car pool lanes) for single occupant hybrids). In the more congested areas, this is a major advantage.

    Extra fees do offset the “tax loss” for hybrids that use less fuel and thus pay less in “user fees” (taxes) intended to maintain the highways. The offset it that the “user fees” are often raided to pay for money losing “mass transit” (trolly cars) that nobody much rides. So the shortage of funds for road and highway maintenance is a self-inflicted problem.

    Hybrid owners probably “deserve” the extra fees, if only as an offset for the self-rightousness so often exhibited.

  11. You would think folks who really believe others should pay their “fair share” of taxes would love to pony up a bit with the hybrid tax since their vehicles do use the roads. Nope, lot’s of wails of pain here in Richmond. The two democrat governors (Warner and Kaine) tried unsuccessfully to raise taxes for roads. The conservative, no tax republican governor with a majority in both houses of the legislature succeeded in increasing taxes and all kinds of fees for this. Supposedly, this will drop the price of gasoline. I’m hoping I need gas that day.

  12. Hybrid owners happily will pay any and all taxes for saving the planet. It makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

  13. Buying a hybrid is a form of self flaggelation. Taxing the hybrid is just another stoke of the whip. These hybrid owners should be feeling good about the taxes they have to pay. Now if we can only stop the subsidies to sustainable power and get it taxed into oblivion.

  14. The receptionist where I worked came to work one morning wearing a T-shirt with this phrase on it: “Dear God, please protect me from what I want.”

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