Oct. 16--RICHMOND -- Days after being named the new chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Del. Tom Rust said he'll seek to repeal the $64 a year hybrid vehicle tax included in the 2013 transportation legislation.
"I was proud to be a key driver of the transportation bill because I believed then -- and still believe today -- that it was the single best opportunity for a long-term, sustainable funding stream for crucial transportation improvements in the commonwealth that we have seen in the past 20 years," Rust, D-Herndon, said in a statement. "But the General Assembly should revisit and repeal the unfair and punitive tax on drivers of hybrid vehicles, and I will introduce legislation to do just that."
When the legislation was under consideration, owners of hybrid vehicles balked at the fee, arguing that it over-taxed their eco-friendly vehicles. The annual fee was eventually reduced from the original $100 proposed in early drafts of the transportation funding plan.
Rust said in his statement that electric vehicles do not use gas and as a result do not pay any gas tax, a revenue stream for road construction and maintenance. The fee was a way for those drivers to pay a share of the road costs.
But, he said, "Hybrid drivers pay gas taxes."
"They have to fill up their car at the gas station just like others on the roads," he said. "It is unfair to treat them the same as someone who doesn't pay any gas tax. We should be encouraging people to purchase and drive hybrids--not punishing them."
-- Olympia Meola
(c)2013 the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Va.)
Visit the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) at www.timesdispatch.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Original headline: Repeal of Va. hybrid vehicle tax in the works
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