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A bipartisan initiative is once again pushing for an increase in the federal gas tax, although the overall hike would simply bring the tax in line with inflation.

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Anyone even vaguely familiar with the European auto market knows that diesel-fueled vehicles take up a huge portion of the roads there. A combination of high fuel efficiency, useful torque in tightly packed cities, low CO2 emissions and tax incentives all contribute to the popularity. However, ever the iconoclasts, the French government wants the oil burners off its roads in the coming years.

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News hit last week that Spyker appeared to be in trouble. Citing an outstanding tax bill, local authorities had apparently seized an array of the company's assets – including racecars, road cars, concept cars and spare parts – and were selling them off in order to pay off the company's debt. It now seems, however, that Spyker is in the clear. In a statement sent to Autoblog, Spyker CEO Victor Muller said:

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The gas tax and diesel taxes haven't been increased since 1993.

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The fund that the United States uses for the maintenance of its roads is increasingly falling short, and one of the main reasons is the more efficient cars we drive today. As fuel economy improves, the amount raised by the nation's gas taxes falls, and it is those taxes that pay for much of the highway upkeep in the country. That leaves the question of how we continue to maintain the roads.

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Advanced-powertrain vehicle advocates in California and Maryland can rejoice over a chilled glass of Napa Valley's finest white wine and a heaping plate of Baltimore's best crab cakes. That's because both states will continue to make life a little financially sweeter for plug-in vehicle drivers. It's a short-term fix for California but potentially longer-term for Maryland.

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Raising taxes in any democratic country is tricky business, but there are certain groups on which it's easier to raise taxes than others. Smokers, for example, have a hard time making an argument against raising taxes on cigarettes. As far as the working class is concerned, raising taxes on the rich is a no-brainer. And in Germany, they may find it easiest to levy taxes against non-Germans.

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Ford is in a bit of a pickle for importing and selling Turkey-built Transit Connect cargo vans as passenger vehicles in the US, then converting them to commercial-vehicle specification stateside in an effort to bypass a 25-percent tax imposed on vehicles imported for commercial use. Automakers are required to pay a 2.5-percent tax on imported passenger vehicles.

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This might come as puzzling news for any Angeleno or San Franciscan whose head is ringing from the most recent batch of potholes: California has the highest state gas taxes in the country, charging almost five times as much per gallon as low-tax states such as Alaska and Georgia, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.

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Oregon government officials continue to consider a per-mileage tax for plug-in and highly fuel efficient vehicles. The reason? To boost road-improvement funds in one of the country's most progressive states, the Register-Guard from Eugene, OR, reports.

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The long, complicated struggle to integrate plug-in vehicles into the national fleet is playing out in the microcosm of Texas. The oil-friendly state has, somewhat under the radar, been laying the groundwork for electric vehicle infrastructure and the city of Austin is in the vanguard of plug-in vehicle advancement. While all this is going on, the state government is one that is still thinking about taxing EVs.

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The assessment of a gas tax and the role it plays in a state's transportation and overall budgets has been a topic of discussion for a while, and Virginia state governor Bob McDonnell is the latest to offer up another way to secure more revenue from the state's residents to pay for their roads and public transportation. McDonnell's proposal would eliminate Virginia's 17.5-percent gas tax entirely, with funds for infrastructure projects coming from an increase in the sales tax from five percent t

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In a move likely to cause an uproar across Portland-area coffeehouses, Oregon's state legislature is again considering instituting a per-mile tax on super-fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. The state is looking to recuperate revenue lost because more fuel efficient vehicles on the road result in fewer dollars being collected from gas taxes.

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While many GOP leaders bang the drum against government subsidies for both makers and buyers of advanced-powertrain vehicles, the Carnegie Endowment has just put out a new report that says more federal and local incentives will be needed to ensure electric-drive vehicle sales gain momentum.

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As cars get more fuel efficient, they become a less profitable source of tax dollars. So what's a city to do? Raising gas taxes is certain political death. For San Francisco Bay officials, creativity is the key.

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Tragedy is a relative concept. Some would call it a tragedy that, while Italy makes some of the most desirable (and gas-guzzling) cars on the market, it also has some of the highest fuel prices in Europe. But that unfortunate reality is far overshadowed by the two earthquakes that have struck the country's Emilia-Romagna region, killing 24 people in total. Now the fledgling government tasked with steering the troubled country into financial health is forced to raise fuel taxes even higher to rel

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Charging drivers more just makes dollars and cents

As much as it pains me to say this: America needs a $1 a gallon gas tax. And right now would be the perfect time to start. Vote, pass, sign. Please. This gas tax could rebuild America, create jobs, help the auto industry, improve the environment and do something no politician likes to do: Pay as you go.

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The United States tax code will never be accused of being simple or easy to comprehend. With a tangle of exceptions and loopholes, individuals and corporations can work their way around paying their full income tax rate with ease.

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Remember Jetgate? Back in the pre-bankruptcy days of late 2008, when the Big Three CEO's were traveling to Washington to plead their case for funds, Ford's Alan Mulally, General Motors' then-CEO Rick Wagoner, and Chrysler's former chief Bob Nardelli were publicly chastised for flying in corporate jets to the tune of $20,000 per round trip.

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