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The Governor of Massachusetts is backing a new state proposal to tax larger gas-guzzling vehicles each year when drivers register them. The so-called "Hummer Tax" would be the first in the nation, and it is designed to directly discourage ownership of SUVs and pickups. To further chill ownership of larger and more inefficient vehicles and steer buyers towards the small cars, the plan includes provisions to discount fees for owners with lighter and more miserly cars.

"It's a penalty for driving an SUV, which currently is not the popular choice. Or you're being penalized for a lifestyle choice, or maybe the fact that you have a large family and you need that size vehicle to put them in and it just doesn't seem fair," said Tim Lerchenfeldt, general manager of Cadillac Hummer Saab Village in Norwwood. He argues that now is not the time for additional fees, especially when the industry is struggling and sales across the board are down.

The transportation system in Massachusetts is suffering from more than a decade of neglect, according to Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, and the tax would be just one of the ways to raise the funds to foot the repair bill (the plan also includes a controversial 19 cent increase in the state's gas tax). While the "Hummer Tax" benefits from a lightning rod of a nickname, the premise of hitting select consumers who already pay more at the pump with yet another fee doesn't exactly sound universally welcomed.




[Source: Foxnews]


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  • 130 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why do they have to tax gas at all Sea Urchin? So the roads can be maintained? To discourage people from driving cars that they WANT or NEED to drive? God forbid someone WANTS to drive an SUV. Oh the humanity!!!!!The original gas tax was to pay for the road maintance and construction projects but instead they raped the treasury to pay for their pet projects. So now they have to rape citizens even more because they cant account for sh!t. Just more collectivism at its finest. Let me hear the wont somebody think of the children argument next... Its nothing more than a group of people saying we know better than you. Thats all it is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree to a degree with you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Legal discrimination at its best. Take it to the Supreme Court under the Equal Preotection Ammendment. Maybe if they did something like tax gas... Oh wait they already do and its not enough because now people dont drive as much. The mob ALWAYS gets their cut.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lining up their pockets with it, paying off debts to the Federal Reserve...which should be shut down, giving money to other nations, paying for a useless and absolutely unnecessary war, bailing out banks that should be nationalized in the first place, bailing out auto companies that made horrible management decisions, giving too many tax incentives, giving too many tax breaks to consumers and businesses, etc. etc. etc.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's a Ram 2000?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What we have is an industry (automobiles) being lambasted as the primary cause of global warming, and enough people believing it to see that changing car & truck buyers behavior is the solution. It's not.

      First of all, automobiles and trucks only account for less than 20% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, when producing power and heat results in a huge 69% of all of the United States greenhouse gas emissions. The typical commercial power plant is only about 33% efficient, burning three units of fuel (coal, fuel oil, or natural gas) to generate just one unit of power (either killowatts of electricity or BTU's of hat to heat most big city downtown buildings). Much of the wasted heat comes in the form of excess heat that's vented into the atmosphere, with even more energy being wasted by manufacturing that generates immense amounts of excess heat. Going after automobiles has been politically expedient, but a waste of engineering resources, and an ineffective way of reducing the largest number of green house gas emissions.

      Recycling that wasted heat energy will do more, not could do more, but will do more to reduce greenhouse gas emission than anything we propose to do with cars and trucks. Consider that a U.S. EPA and Department of Energy study suggested energy recycling could provide enough clean power to replace nearly 400 coal plants and reduce greenhouse emissions by about 20%. Consider that increasing the efficiency of commercial power plants will do more to improve the environment than removing every car and light truck from the road.

      Consider that this is NOT theoretical technology, either, It's already in use. Denmark already generates more than half of its power this way. But in the U.S., recycling rate are stuck in the single digits. Denmark uses only 40% as much energy to produce one dollar of GDP, compared to the U.S.

      Much is made of the need to reduce foreign sources of oil, but consider that the technology exists to convert the coal that wouldn't burned, for commercial heat and power production, to synthetic forms of gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil, and aviation fuel. Also consider that since the last time this option was studied in depth, the technology to reduce the conversion processes carbon emissions has not only been developed, they've been well tested and proven to work.

      But no, the environmental lobby is hell bent on destroying the automobile and private transportation, even when there is overwhelming evidence that this is not the best approach.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Colorado already charges SUV owners more to get/renew tags. I had to pay $500 for tags for an Isuzu Trooper .
      • 6 Years Ago
      Way to be totally unfair to the people of this "free" country.

      Yes its true SUVs aren't popular, arent selling, and nobody likes them, but I could have sworn we had a free market economy.

      If something isn't popular or liked people will speak by their choices and their dollars - government intervention only serves one side of the population.

      I'm going to be very stereotypical and just assume the type of person that introduced this idea was very "tree-hugger-ish". Helping out the environment is all well and good, but trampling on the freedom of choice to do it undermines everything this country was founded on.

      I'd love to see the people crying foul if I introduced a bill to tax Starbucks Coffee because of the "negative douche-baggery" stigma attached to it.

      I don't own any kind of Hummer - but creating a government induced witch hunt over simply owning a certian type of car is proof that our society is at the brink of collapse (i think)

      Environmentalism is just a stones throw away from religious fanaticism.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The word "free" quietly disappeared when we Americans voted Obama into office. Unless we as a country grow some balls, we can forget about it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        FYI - I am amazed at the whining about the wire tapping and habeus corpus suspension.

        Unless you are a criminal or terrorist these have had zero effect on your life...just an excuse to whine.

        As for vehicle taxes...the gov't needs to come up with money somehow to subsidize their socialist programs. The design of our ever subsidizing gov't relies on a GROWING population. Also a reason they want to make all the illegal immigrants into citizens is to gain access to their income....15 million instant taxable citizens...a great way to make up for the shortfall in the failed Social(ist) Security system.

        The (not so) funny thing is that by taxing the hell out of us, couples will continue to have smaller families because cost of living will be too high. Then in a generation our domestic population will start to shrink like in Europe. Many West Euopean countries suffer from shrinking populations, hence why they accept all the immigrants, to keep the population up.

        Less government, less tax, more money in your pockets, more spending, better economy. Too bad Obama can't figure that out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, that's right, Sean, voting Obama into office has eroded our freedoms in two months. I guess you don't think it's erosion of your freedom to wire-tap citizens or dismantle habeus corpus, as long as you get to keep your guns and drive a truck to Wal-Mart. I'll bet you think you're a "real American," a real patriot, huh?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't like large vehicles either, but that is an unfair tax. I know several families with 5+ kids. They just plain don't fit in a Fit.

      Down with government meddling!
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is perfectly fair. 95% of all SUVs never leave the pavement. And most are used for commuting, not towing. In rural America, fine. Allow SUVs for farmers that need to tow gigantic trailers with horses or ATVs or something. But in MA? Come on. Those people are NOT going offroading, nor are they ever towing anything important.

        BTW, read this:

        http://fc99.deviantart.com/fs27/f/2008/101/1/d/SUV_Research_Paper_by_cash68.pdf
        • 6 Years Ago
        So let me get this straight the state wants to discourage in a form of tax from people owning this large SUVs that consume a lot of gas which will then result in less consumption of said gas in the state which will then be force to raise taxes on gas for the result of taxing large cars which are consuming less gas....

        This F-ing country is going to sh*ts where do these people come up this crap. The state is going to Tax people for their way of life are, things have to stop soon...Whats next? im going to get taxed for taking 2 showers a day? or for the amount of air I breath for a day?
        • 6 Years Ago
        No one ever said kids were cheap and having so many was their choice. Someone with 5+ kids also needs a bigger house which comes with a bigger tax bill so this is really no different.

        The alternative is to raise gas taxes so everyone pays but that just penalizes those who make an effort to conserve while prices are being driven up by those who don't.

        But, of course, this isn't about oil conservation, it's just a money grab.
        • 6 Years Ago
        uh maybe people shouldnt have 5 kids?

        kids are a huge strain on our school systems, etc.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And how do we know said 5 kid families aren't "Welfaries" just popping out kids and grabbing a welfare check and public housing?? You can afford a SUV, yet you still want a handout from my taxes?

        I say tax 'em. Give exceptions to Businesses (with STRICT regulations [i.e. No Magnetic Signs, must be Permanent Decals]) and Rural Users (as defined by Zip Code and Land Use Codes).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Look, the people already own these vehicles. There was no such tax on them when they purchased them. If you support this sort of BS then you might as well bend over because you'll be opening the door to the same tax on increasingly smaller vehicles until a moped that runs on fox urine is all you can afford to register.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Having lots of kids brings extra costs. This could be one.

        And besides, there are great minivans out there that carry 5 better than an SUV does anyway. Get one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why are you arguing over the fairness of a tax when there's not such thing as fair taxation?

        >_>
        • 6 Years Ago
        They're called Crossovers. Use 'um!

        Or they can get a sedan and strap the rest to the roof. Hey, they're safe if they can tie a knot.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Look Big, you are right, i agree 110%, it is unfair, it is an SUV tax.

        But the far bigger question here is how long can we continue to pollute environment? That is the issue. Most Americans could not care less about environment or where oil comes from, and on some occasions the government needs to step in and save people from their own stupidity. .....................much like we are seeing in the mortgage field. Many went out there buying what they could not afford, and forcing government to step in. Here is the same, most out there do not care about environment, most think that when white smoke leaves the tail pipe it forms into those white clouds and look so nice on a sunny day. Most think that Saudi Arabia is a friendly country, like Laplandia.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree,

        if you're gonna do this then you'd have to bring a tax on CO2 emisions and each vehicle (including the Prius) would pay taxes on how much CO2 their car produces

        but why not just raise the tax on gas and keep it at $4/gal and this will assure only those that need it will buy it. of course you'd have to wait out this downtur economy to avoid a longer recession adn possibly a depression
        • 6 Years Ago
        A gas tax would technically be fair. So would a mileage tax.

        Its like a rental fee. If you spend the most miles on a road, you have the greatest responsibility to pay for repairs for that road.

        If you burn the most carbon, you are the most responsible for conservation programs.


        Owning and registering an SUV does NOT necessarily mean it will do more environmental damage than the owner of a compact at twice the miles and twice the mpg.

        The best argument anyone can have for this tax is saying that 'most' people don't need SUVs and pickups. Not arguing that. A gas tax would chase off those that don't.

        For the handful that NEED a pickup truck, this is tantamount to persecution. How much more damage can the small business or economically strained homeowner take? It affects the economy and indirectly affects you.

        In this time of economic crisis, its really nice that everyone is falling into the self-centered trap of "tax them! tax them!" Are you really naive enough to trust a beaurocracy not to listen to 'them' when they tell the govenrment to tax 'you'?

        "Its always someone else... until they come for you." - excert from a holocost survivor.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Sea Urchin
        While I completely agree that we need to take steps to take better care of Mother Earth, the honest truth is that SUVs, while obviously not good, are a relatively insignificant part of the problem. Far more pollution comes from Industry, and that is where we really need to focus our efforts in reducing emissions. Taxing large vehicles is not the answer right now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Average family has 2.5 children, 50% of all vehicles are trucks and SUVs, so i am taking a guess that MOST do not need a 3 row, V8 vehicle that gets 2 MPG.

        If someone has 5+ children, Hummer or any other SUV will not help them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sorry but that's basically a retarded response.

        We're talking 3, 4, 5 and more children to compensate for the ones and twos out there. And this most certainly IS an unfair tax on them.

        And this is a tax on pickup trucks, SUVs, and I would assume truck-based conversion vans as well.

        The Yukon, Suburban, Land Cruiser, Expedition, and a handful of others all seat 8 people thanks very much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        To say it's unfair is ridiculous. It could easily be offset with additional tax breaks for large families. This already occurs and will continue. Give it a rest, people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Barack's buddy - the Governor of Mass - "Cadillac Duval Patrick" is just another socialist Democrat Pol who is looking for more Tax Revenue - ( The first thing he did when he was elected was trade in the Ford that Mitt Romney used for a new Caddy ).
      This proposal will play well with all his mind numb supporters in the city. Those of us who live out in the surrounding ‘burbs who actually need an SUV to get out of our driveways and get to the local dump were not happy with him in the first place. Fortunately, what will really happen is that the higher gas tax will just mean we buy our gas ( and everything else) from NH and RI rather than Mass Retailers and surprise – surprise -- no increase in revenue. Which will prompt a call for mare taxes etc They will never learn.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Ironically this is the state where the Boston Tea Party took place.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is unfair to say the least, but the majority of people who still own SUV's and Trucks do not use them for their built potential/purpose. I say go for it. Why wait? It'll happen sooner or later. And I'm not talking about the glorified car enthusiasts on here who think they make up the majority of the car market. If that were the case, the automobile industry would be much worse off.

      I say the government doubles the gas tax(but also reducing tax incentives to oil companies to a big fat 0.000%), increase the gas guzzler tax threefold and increase the minimum MPG. Yeah yeah, sounds harsh. It needs to be done. Gas is cheap here, admit it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My my, how little you understand about economics and basic market principles. And just what are you going to do when the price of your goods like food, clothes, shoes and other necisties goes up? How do you think all that stuff gets to the places you drive to to purchase it? By magic fairy dust. Go ahead increase all of those taxes and charges and watch the prices of EVERYTHING go through the roof. You will literally have to choose between eating and clothing yourself.

        The amount of micromanaging and micro-level thinking that permiates the world is just insane!!! To think that raising prices of a commodity that is involved in our economy in EVERY SINGLE WAY wont negativly affect other things we need. Un-freakin-believable!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Drill Here, Drill Now, lets get off foreign oil. let the people drive what the f--k they want to. These are back door, leftest faschist, who want to make you do, and drive what they want you to do, This is only a start . Next it will be light bulbs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        At least check your spelling, you right-wing nut.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are right, I better learn to spell Fascist correctly, after reading about these ideas, the left wing nuts are trying to ram down our throats, we are going to see more of them, people shoud buy and drive what they want, if it is electric, gas, diesel, or left wing fairy dust.
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