That sound you hear is the sound a few thousand Toyota Prius owners from the Old Dominion State clapping. That's because a tax on hybrids that Virginia enacted last year will most likely be eliminated.

The Virginia Senate this week voted to repeal the tax, which hit hybrid drivers up for an extra $64 a year, the Roanoke Times says. The idea behind the tax (similar to the electric-vehicle fees being bandied about around the country) was that hybrid drivers weren't paying their share of the gas taxes needed to fund road improvements. The tax was supposed to generate about $11 million a year. Still, the senate voted it down by a 35-3 margin. Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) called the tax "illogical."

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (pictured), formerly of MyCar electric-vehicle startup fame, vowed to sign the bill. Those of you with a Google News alert for "Virginia hybrids" may think of the repeal as a sort of "just desserts" for gas-electric drivers in the state, where a tire-slashing spree against Prius vehicles happened last summer. About a dozen Prius hybrids were hit at the time, and while $64 won't cover a new set of tires, it's better than nothing.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      skierpage
      • 10 Months Ago
      @Danny King 'a sort of "just desserts" for gas-electric drivers in the state' Nope, the phrase is "just deserts". I too thought it was in the sense of "Have some yummy cake as reward for your efforts", but 'Desert /dɨˈzɜrt/ in philosophy is the condition of being deserving of something, whether good or bad.'
      Technoir
      • 11 Months Ago
      Everytime one buys gas, money leaves the country. Hybrids and especially EVs should be subsidized to the same amount as they will save in money over their lifetime. Using less gas is good for the economy, good for national security.
      George Jumper
      • 11 Months Ago
      It has a little to do with revenue as they spend themselves into debt. Way in the hole anyways. It has more with controlling big oil. When big oil raises price , the governments( local ,federal ,and state) threaten to raise taxes. (People tend to drive less with higher gas prices/ keeps big oil in check. )This works in reverse as we'll. it is because of this set up that government will not just have a tax on drivers or mileage instead of a gas tax. There will need to be an increase in the percent price of a gallon regardless of taxes imposed on electric vehicles. I own an all electric car and I also drive a 79 c10 every chance I get. At 14 miles to the gallon I pay my fair share of gas taxes! Or was this a tax on owning an ev with the potential of not paying gas taxes? Can you jail a man because you think he might commit a crime?
      CoolWaters
      • 11 Months Ago
      Here's how it's supposed to work: Government writes policy that BENEFITS Society. Capitalism, clearly, is not capable of producing outcomes that benefit the Nation and the World, without Government Direction. - Fracking - Exxon funding climate Change Denial. - The cancer/cigarette industry. - Get in the way of a sociopath Capitalist, and you've got a 40 year war, till the general public realized it's been scammed.
        EVnerdGene
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        " Capitalism, clearly, is not capable of producing outcomes that benefit the Nation and the World, without Government Direction " well, let's see capitalism produced the automobile, the airplane, toilet paper, catscan machines, probably all vaccines, refrigeration and air conditioning, computers, beer, , , , , Where do you get your indoctrination, comrade?
          Technoir
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Capitalism is the best system in the world IF it comes with good government and regulations. Remove regulations and restaurants will serve you processed sewage sludge, oil firms will poison your water (already the case), drug companies will sell u u reliable medicine (we re seeing this already), private hospitals will charge you $20,000 per night (already here), and the financial sector will be able to write its own bills (already the case!).
          EVnerdGene
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          so CoolWaters, You blame fracking on capitalism? If you are so concerned that it's really bad, get your big-gov to stop it. That's what you guys keep saying big-gov is for.
          CoolWaters
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          My "indoctrination" or your blindness? Can't wait what you'll say when they frack your town, don't want to be around for your whiplash.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Yeah! what will you say when they frack you, you evil capitalist! Hide your kids, hide your wife... AND hide your husband 'cuz they frackin' errbody up in here!
          motorhead
          • 10 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @VL00 your ill-logic is so far out in left field, you can't even see the ballpark
          VL00
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "capitalism produced the automobile, the airplane.." Haha, ridiculous. By your logic, Nazi-ism produced manned space flight, and the Apollo missions
        EVnerdGene
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        my dear comrades, There's one big difference in giving power to the government, and corporations: Corporations can't make you buy a iPhone, or fine you if you don't buy their ideas for health insurance. Just read in latest issue of AutoWeek (picture of a 1954 Buick still being used as a taxi) "Cuban government lifted its decades-long ban on new car sales , , ," now you can buy a car from "government-run dealerships" "markups from 400 to nearly 1,000 percent" "$262,000 Peugeot 206?" quoting Comrade Cool Waters: "Government writes policy that BENEFITS Society"
          EZEE2
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          I wonder if he thinks the bailout of big insurance will benefit society? Or NSA spying? Nearly every horror visited upon mankind had been done by various governments...and that is a benefit to society? So sad.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Only a government can put a gun to your head and force you to do something, yup. Corporations cannot do that alone. They are not allowed to have their own armies - however, they are allowed to buy their own republicans and democrats, and people are still so stupid that they continue to vote for their guys, so that's fine enough.
          Vlad
          • 11 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          ...because all governments are the same, and it is perfectly reasonable to equate Cuban dictatorship with American democracy.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        That's how it's supposed to work.. But never has, once, in history. I think it's time to drop those ideals and understand that power corrupts... the less of it, the better.
          EZEE2
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Hey 2wm - notice all of the downvotes with no reply? Another emotional response by the left. They don't like what we say. Not because it is wrong, but because it hurts their feelings. I will never say corporations are perfect and don't need some regulation (river on fire in Cleveland, Bhopal) but are they trying to say that hitler. Stalin, and Mao were beholden to corporations? Somehow I think that if Messerschmidt said to hitler, 'Ja, we disagree with your warlike posture and we won't build your airplanes' that they would be in a world of hurt. This is really why I post here. I know I am not going to make them think for a single second. Thought has been conditioned out of them. Rak and Soec are capable, but they won't acknowledge it. No matter how brutal the horror...no matter how much worse Obama does over bush (on things bush did, like domestic spying), there will never be a peep. The bailout of the insurance industry, as written into Obamacare, is coming, and again, there will be no peep. Maybe they will blame it on racist republicans. And the mindless foot soldiers of the left will believe it, even though the right was locked out of the room when Obamacare was created. I find that it must be such a hopeless way to live...you didn't build that.....wow. No accomplishment, if you are a liberal. No dreams beyond what the government will do. Never earning your wealth, but voting I those that will punish those with wealth, and then feeling good about it. Sad existence.
          EVnerdGene
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          @Iad. 1992 - we could have elected a guy that wanted to outlaw lobbying. Butt we laughed at him. 2012 - we could have elected a guy that wanted to limit government power and stop runaway spending. Butt, you simply said "he sukcs." 2400 years ago, Plato predicted that a democracy will eventually die a violent death, soon after the electorate figures out they can vote themselves a pay raise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio There is nothing wrong with our Constitution. You should be fearful of those who don't want to follow it more than anything else.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Rotating our corrupt criminal rulers at a faster rate is not a solution. Corporations have no power other than to sell you stuff if it were not for government, who is currently used by corporations to write rules that benefit them, crush people who threaten their business, or even fight wars for their industry. The ruling class has pretty much worked in the same fashion for thousands of years and you think they can be reformed...? I'm sorry if you don't see the correlation. Citizens united, campaign donations, large bills written by corporations and signed by presidents obviously aren't enough to get you to connect the dots.
          EVnerdGene
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          two thumbs up EZEE, pretty clear thinkin' for a knuckle-draggin' rocket scientist
          lad
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          You really don't know what's going on in our Country. Corporations have been running the Government for years; what you have is an Oligarchy that is made up of Corporations, Lobbyists and Politicians. Here's how it works: The Corporations pay for the Politicians election campaigns and reward them with gifts for passing favorable laws and providing subsides from tax money; this is all made legal by passing the favors and money back and forth via the Lobbyists. In fact, many Politicians become Lobbyists when they are turned out of office. Ever notice how most politicians elected to Federal office become millionaires almost overnight. They go to Washington wearing suits from Sears and come back home in custom duds. they are legally bribed by a system that works for business interest, not in the people's best interest. We have one of the most legally corrupt Governments on the Planet and our experiment in Democracy is fast failing. I expect some day we will revolt against this system, people will die and we will start all over again with a new Constitution. Maybe next time we will see the wisdom in Public Paid Elections instead of Corporations paying off elected officials.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          yes, power corrupts. But we cannot just assume we can "decrease power". If it is not in the hands of government, corporations will take more power. I for one, would rather give power to elected officials with strict term limits. Now, we just need to get rid of Gerrymandering which is causing runaway incumbency.
          EZEE2
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I would SO much rather give the power over to corporations than government. Corporations make money by producing thing and providing services that I want and need. Do I want the people that gave me this iPad in charge, or the people at the NSA? Who are not elected, btw? Do I want the people who sell me my groceries in charge, or those that took over healthcare? Do I want the people who built my Beloved 2000 Ford Ranger FFV ULEV or the people fighting to arm Al Qaeda in Syria in charge? Do I want the people who give me my job, who also supply me with a fine Ford Fusion (and I am due for a new one soon - one of those cool Aston Martin looking ones) in charge, or the people who run the DMV? But Mylexicon, you are wrong. Government has given the world some great stuff: The Trabant and Lada The nuclear bomb Gas chambers And they have also paid corporations to produce: F-16 Aircraft carriers Xyklon B M1 Abrams Corporations would not produce weapons of war, because no matter how much Apple and Microsoft might fight, one doesn't see hippies under a flag bearing fruit coming over the hill at a bunch or people in suits and ties charging still them in tanks that suddenly shut down with no warning but then function again when restarted only to operate slower and slower the longer they go (ADHD moment there....).
        mylexicon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        I find it somewhat ironic that the proposed solutions to the problems you listed all rely on markets, capitalism, and profit motive to succeed. Government ownership is a great way to lose control of everything, not just a few issues that cause you aggravation.
        EZEE2
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Here's how it's supposed to work: Government writes policy that HINDER Society and MURDERS the people they are sworn to protect. Socialism clearly, is not capable of producing outcomes that benefit the Nation and the World - The cultural revolution - Krtystal Nacht - The Great Leap Forward - Gulags - Detroit - Get in the way of a sociopath Socialist, and you will be tortured and killed. National Socialist genocide. International Socialist Genocide. Your 40 year war was not started by big business, but by government.
      motorhead
      • 11 Months Ago
      Terry McAuliffe? Isn't this the guy who sold E5B immigration visas to Chinese to raise money for his nEV company?
        VL00
        • 11 Months Ago
        @motorhead
        Our last Governor is up on bribery charges too :)
      HollywoodF1
      • 11 Months Ago
      This was an issue of addressing a first-order effect, and failing to recognize the value of the second-order effects they were damaging. For the time being, there is a greater overall benefit to the State to incentivize people to buy vehicles that consume less gas. In fact, the best use of a tax, in this case, would be to increase the gas tax to offset capital losses, while simultaneously increasing the stimulation for people to buy less-consumptive vehicles. Once we cross the tipping point where people will buy high-efficiency vehicles anyway, then they should begin to adjust tax policy. At that point, it will not drive people away from HE vehicles. But for today-- we should do nothing to discourage HE vehicle purchase.
        GR
        • 11 Months Ago
        @HollywoodF1
        I agree with everything you said...but in order for those things to happen our politicians would actually have to care about the long term state of our economy, and not just the state of our economy until the next election.
      njss
      • 11 Months Ago
      Friends ask me what it is like living in Virginia. I say that we are ranked second to Texas in executions and second to California in hybrid vehicle sales. Take your pick. Bravo, to the state senate for the change.
        stumpy
        • 11 Months Ago
        @njss
        It's a purple state that seems to be turning more and more blue (thanks to nova)
          Actionable Mango
          • 11 Months Ago
          @stumpy
          I tend to like purple politics. A lot of one-party governments look batsh*t crazy to me. I think it reflects lack of competition and debate. Instead, politicians try to out-left or out-right each other, with some pretty bad results IMHO.
      George Jumper
      • 11 Months Ago
      Think hard at just what changes are taking place as more and more electric cars hit the streets. If gas tax is raised, government becomes more and more dependent on that tax. If a group can manage to recklessly spend government money, government will likely protect the tax revenue source( gasoline) to pay its bills. look at the total of state, local, federal tax on a gallon.. About 36 percent of the price of a gallon. Who stands to gain the most if government has to rely more and more on gas tax for revenue ? Who would most like creat laws and taxes to keep gasoline in place? Who is big oils best friend and partner? Think hard now. Just who is lobbying for worthless government spending anyways? It is not the revenue lost by electrics, it is the power that is lost to bog oil. Big oil would hate to see governments obtain road taxes from something other than gasoline. It would mean government is not so dependent on oil after all. A thorn in big oils foot for sure! Ok, so why would Feds create friendly tax incentives for energy saving devices? They will introduce hydrogen electric cars. Then raise electric a lot to kill cost savings with driving a battery car. Most homes wont see an increase with home energy use but the meter that keeps track of the car electricity usage will look a whole lot closer to the price of hydrogen or gas. Where will they get the hydrogen from? You guessed it, oil.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 11 Months Ago
      Yay! Good job being slightly less stupid.
      Spec
      • 11 Months Ago
      Elections have consequences. I can understand wanting to charge EVs a road fee (since they use zero gasoline and instead use electricity) but a tax on conventional hybrids is just plain stupid and 'illogical' as he points out. That removes the incentive to make more efficient gas-powered vehicles. It was definitely one of the more stupid things the GOP has done.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, it's not a stupid thing that they have done. 99% of republicans and democrats are just basically serving the industries that handed them millions to billions of dollars to do their bidding. Let's say you're a republican, and the fossil fuel industry has funded half of your campaign. If you do not serve their interests adequately, you will lose half of your funding for the next election. That means you will have half the advertisements, half the funds to fly around the state and do press meetups, half the PR budget, and such. That's going to put you at a disadvantage to someone else who will do their bidding better, and you will lose your position of power in a few years to another republican, or democrat who receives far more industry funding than you, hence wins against you based on their campaign. And these campaigns work just great. The more money you have, the more quality and quantity of emotionally manipulative rhetoric a candidate can produce in order to ensure victory. And people fall for it on both sides of the aisle. That's how elections actually work in the real world. You can look up campaign funding on opensecrets.org - this is all well known and is all on public record.
          VL00
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          We have the best Government money can buy
      eric.sales
      • 11 Months Ago
      Red state turning green/blue !
    • Load More Comments