Washington state may introduce MPG-based car taxes

Legislators in Washington state want to put the hurt on people who buy vehicles that consume more fuel by charging a new annual tax that's weighted in inverse proportion to the vehicle's EPA fuel economy ratings. The more fuel a vehicle uses, the more it will cost the driver to register the vehicle. The tax would help restore some of the revenue that has been lost due to apparently falling gasoline sales in the state as prices have risen. Of course anti-tax advocates in the state are not pleased about the plan and complain that lower-income drivers that can't afford newer higher-mileage cars will be inordinately punished. While the goals of tax plan are laudable, the implementation is problematic. Perhaps some kind of tax break for lower income drivers to help with the purchase of more efficient vehicles might have a greater impact by getting some of the older vehicles off the road entirely. There is also the issue of calculating a tax based on the EPA mileage numbers, when those numbers have changed due to new test procedures. Identical vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model years may have the same real-world mileage with different EPA numbers. Why should the owner of the 2008 model have to pay more? In future years those numbers are likely to change again as test procedures are modified to take into account the behavior of various plug-in vehicles.

[Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

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