Washington State Creates Annual MPG Tax
As drivers replace their gas-guzzlers with more efficient vehicles, drive less and/or start using alternate transportation, gas tax revenues are dropping. The Seattle Post-Intelligence reports that Washington state is responding to this environmentally beneficial trend with an annual tax tied to a vehicle's EPA-rated fuel economy. Under Senate Bill 6923, a Prius owner will pay $60 per year, while an H3 owner would be dunned three times that amount. Bill sponsor State senator Ed Murray denies the measure is a greenwashed cash grab. "The (governor's) climate advisory team said that the biggest global warming problem in this state is actually from transportation." How a state can have a "global" warming problem isn't quite clear, but Ed claims Washington's industry is "fairly clean." The real problem? "The number of automobiles." Lower-income drivers will be hardest hit by the new rules, as they are least capable of switching to newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Estimates show they'll have to pay an average of $113 per year.
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