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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) is said to be considering adjusting registration fees skyward for large, gas-guzzling vehicles while discounting the same for fuel-saving models. The controversial legislation has earned the nickname "Hummer Tax" since it is rather obviously geared towards large SUVs like those sold by GM's struggling HUMMER division.

Opponents to the plan warn that the charges could have a disproportionately large impact on large families and small business owners that rely on large vehicles to perform their daily routines. On the other hand, proponents for the legislation highlight the fact that it's technology neutral, meaning that any vehicle that manages to save fuel over its competitors would qualify for the savings, regardless of what kind of fuel or technology is being used.

There are also movements within the current Massachusetts administration that hope to raise the state's gas tax or increase the price of tolls. One problem with a gas tax increase is that the move towards more fuel efficient vehicles would lower the amount of income the state is taking in, so an alternative plan would tax drivers based on mileage driven.



Massachusetts is also considering raising the state's fuel tax.

[Source: The Boston Globe]



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  • 31 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Tax the Hummers and all other SUVs. Not necessarily a bad idea, however, once the people stop purchasing those types of vehicles - eliminating a number of jobs - and the revenue from the tax disappears then the all knowing and wise politicians will simply move the tax to the rest of the vehicles out there on the road. There is no concern by these jerks for the state of the roads, only the state of their pocketbooks and bank accounts. You will see, increased taxes mean improved roads - I don't think so. Means we need to find a new tax to repair the roads because all the money from this tax vanished into thin air, I mean pols bank accounts and the roads still need to be fixed. Is the great Deval Patrick going to be taxed on his Cadillac or will that simply be passed on to the citizens as a cost of doing business by the governor. Of course he won't pay anything even if he "pays" the tax as he'll increase his salary or bonuses to cover the costs. For his friends as well. Get rid of the politicians - all of them - and let's start the government anew. Once again, this is my "call to arms". Time for the people to rise up and free themselves from the shackles of the slavery of our new Socialist State (both at the state and federal levels). Let the revolution begin.
      harlanx6
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are there enough Mummers out there to be statistically significant? I doubt it. This is symbolism without much substance. The main effect will be to kill automotive jobs.
      drnra
      • 6 Years Ago
      A hummer tax, hmmmmm how do they collect it from hookers.??
      • 6 Years Ago
      I live in France where such a tax had severe consequences on the domestic production. Renault and PSA cannot afford to manufacturer small cars in France due to high labor costs that would further reduce the already low margin on small cars. When the tax on CO2 emissions was introduced, French people stopped buying the large cars that are manufactured in France. The domestic market being a sizable portion of Renault and PSA's sales, French car factories are now in big trouble. Production keeps being interrupted, workers are being laid off or asked to work on partial time with reduced pay checks. Needless to say that introducing such a tax was definitely not a good move, to say the least.

      By the way, the IPCC recommends focusing on reducing emissions when the cost does not exceed $25/ton. The idea is to focus on gains that can be achieved easily without creating a big burden on the economy or unresonable tax increases. Major gains can be achieved at such a cost in many industries. In France, the tax penalty for a car rated 166 g of CO2/km compared with a car rated 101 g of CO2 is 1450 euros or approximately $1,800. Assuming that the car will run 200,000 km, the CO2 savings is 13t. Therfore, the cost per ton is $138. Way above the recommended target.
        • 6 Years Ago
        13 metric tons is lot of CO2. It takes 5,577 liters of gas to produce that much CO2.

        1 metric ton of CO2 is produced by burning 429 liters. If you taxed CO2 at $25/ton that would be a gas tax of 5.8 cents per gallon which wouldn't be enough to make people change their driving habits.

        I think a hummer "tax"(actually fee/incentive program) along with increases in gas tax are the best way to get people to reevaluate unsustainable lifestyles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It always makes me laugh when I hear all the global warming fans. Since it is predicted that we are going into a period of global cooling (based on sun spot activity, something which does correlate with the data), I wonder if we are just going to continue to disregard the data.

      But never fear, that's why we have oceans. When CO2 content increases, the ocean acts as a buffer and limestone is deposited in the ocean. When CO2 content decreases, limestone is desolved and liberated to the atmosphere.

      Got to love these people.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Anybody saying they need a Hummer cause they have a big family is full of it. There are plenty of vehicles that carry a lot of people without weighing 9 tons. Check out the Ford Flex for example.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Flex. Grr, don't remind me. Ford, the INVENTOR of flex fuel technology, the key potential that can break us free of oil, comes out with a vehicle called the "Flex", and it ISN'T EVEN FLEX FUELED, just stupidly needlessly locked in to gasoline-only like everything else. Morons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The inventor of Flex Fuel?

        You mean an in-line water separating fuel filter and larger fuel injectors? Hardly impressive technology, especially since hillbillies have been doing similar things for decades.

        Anyway, flex fuel is a joke and, at best, a stop gap measure (not that you can even buy E85 outside of the midwest).

        People say hybrids are a stop gap measure, but you can (and should) use a hybrid to recapture energy from electric, hydrogen, whatever...

        The Ford Flex interior is terrible. What's with the big flat ugly seats?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What does the governor use to get to work? A huge limo? Typical Democrat double standard!

      Time to throw these liberals out of office people, in order to reduce government involvement in our lives!
      • 6 Years Ago
      In case you all haven't noticed, the reason these taxes are being considered is not for the environment, it's for the government. They want to tax anybody they can for as much as they can for as long as they can so they can use that money (OUR MONEY) to buy more votes to increase and solidify their power. Witness the recent bacon-flavored spending spree AKA the "Stimulus". Those of use who drive smaller vehicles are less likely to protest when the larger vehicles are taxed, and THAT'S THE IDEA.

      "First they came for the Hummer drivers, but I did nothing, because I don't own an SUV..."
        Willy
        • 6 Years Ago
        Matt - in your reply to boom boom you say "SUV sized vehicles are NOT damaging the roads anymore than any other passenger vehicle". So, if I extrapolate, then big truck also don't damage the road any more than a little bitty econobox. Really? Wow - physics wasn't your strong point, was it? Look back at what GoodCheer posted - that is more like what really happens - bigger vehicles are more of a burden to the roads, and it is NOT linear. You can't see it on a hard road short-term. Go look at a dirt road, or better yet, a muddy environment. The bigger the vehicle, the greater the damage. And as far as environmental impact - it is interesting to me that folks believe you can take energy that was stored over many, MANY thousands of years (oil), and release it over an extremely short span of time, and think that it isn't affecting the environment. Analyze temperature patterns around any big city - the city itself will be considerably warmer than the surrounding unpopulated area. Yes, five degrees is actually a HUGE difference in temperature, when there should be NO difference. Stand next to an air conditioner's outside unit in the summer. Feel all that additional heat being pumped into the atmosphere - then multiply that by however many units there are where you are. Still thinks it isn't making a difference? Of course, maybe my first question to you should have been to find out what color the sky is in your world... that would reveal a LOT.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh, the poor suffering SUV driver who spends thousands extra to buy and SUV rather than a sedan, minivan or wagon. They are so oppressed.... Please. If you have the money to buy a huge SUV to haul around your toys and be a status symbol, you have the money to pay for the damage you're doing to the roads and the planet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank you, Throwback.

        BoomBoom,

        This is the second comment I'm replying to of yours. I gather the following about you:
        1. You are self-centered and naive. "I don't drive a big vehicle, so F&$# everyone else." SUVs are not hurting the planet and never were. There is this thing at the center of the Solar System called "The Sun" and it provides all of the heat and energy that supports life on this planet. The reason the planet's temperature is changing is.. wait for it... because the Sun fluctuates in inconsistent and irregular ways that we do not fully understand, no matter what Algor told you.
        2. You are a supporter of Big Government, which makes you a Socialist.
        3. You are not very bright. Sedans, Minivans, and Wagons ARE larger vehicles. They may be smaller than a Suburban, but this tax will be applied to drivers of large cars as soon as tax revenue gets tight. That was the point of my post. SUV sized vehicles are NOT damaging the roads anymore than any other passenger vehicle, you twit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Matt you are the winner! This is another way for the state government to get more tax dollars, it has nothing to do with the environment. Large families will be hit harder, A Honda Accord vs a Fit for example. As for business owners, get ready to earn less profits, if any at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The money in this "tax" does not go to the government, it used to provide incentives for buying small, lightweight vehicles that use less gas and cause less road wear than most vehicles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      taxing everyone, and everything, while living the high life. there is a word for that.
      it's called...... communism.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is another way for politicians to scam the American consumer. Although I am not a Massachusetts resident, as a Hummer owner I would hate to see this happening to other Hummer owners or see this absurd ideas spreading out to other states in the nation. We Hummer owners pay high price for this vehicle and with that it also comes higher sales and yearly registration taxes. We have already paid our share in advance for these politicians to try to add more taxes.

      How about putting a cap or a reduction on their salaries and expenses. How many of these politicians are driving high powered governmental vehicles and dont even consider driving their own economic vehicles purchased out of their own pocket monies.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Matt Groom, You appear to be one of the few people on here with any science knowledge whatsoever. It is an undisputed fact that we are in a "hot sun" cycle,and that temperatures on all the planets are at or near the hottest they've been since they have been able to compute this data. I haven't seen alot of Hummers running around on Mars from the remote cam. I don't dispute Global warming,its a fact also, but to believe that SUV's are a significant reason for it...well,you have to be a pea-brain from Massachusetts obviously..hellbent on taxing anything that moves.
      B.O Stinks
      • 6 Years Ago
      I thought all Democrat males like HUMMERS ! Bill Clinton did !
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