Washington State Creates Annual MPG Tax

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

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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  • Revjasper Revjasper on Feb 07, 2008

    Washington is all kinds of screwy. The Seattle area still doesn't have proper public transportation, so the traffic is outrageous. I'll drive from San Jose to San Francisco for an evening, but from Olympia to downtown Seattle? Not since 1996! Yes, it's 15 more miles from Oly to Latteland, but it takes an hour more due to traffic. Twenty years ago, it was an hour drive. No longer. Why doesn't Washington raise the sales tax some more? It was worth doing to purchase a few stadiums for the corporate sports teams, no revenue going back to the taxpayer. Ah, Oregon. Cheaper gas than WA and you don't even have to get out of the car.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Feb 08, 2008

    timoted, Presently, the commercial carriers pay no sales tax on fuel. In fact, they pay no taxes whatsoever related to fuel use. They are charged fees at airports, they are charged use taxes by the states, they also pay the regular corporate taxes. I am unaware of any state taxes they pay on fuel, but I do know that they run calculations in order to spend the least amount on fuel they can. So, if a state tried to grab money there, they would start selling a LOT less Jet A. OTOH, private and corporate aircraft pay gas taxes, and having just raised them about 20%, the Bush Admin. is once again asking to triple them.

  • Justanothervictim Justanothervictim on Feb 09, 2008

    When in the heck is everyone going to wake the h***up, and call it what it is, just another way for these rotten corrupt losy stinken crooked politicians to suck the last worthless penny out of our wornout jeans. I'm driving a vehicle that uses to much gas, NOT by choose but because other rotten polictians have passed so many other taxes that I can no longer afford to upgrade to a more fuel efficent auto, I have alright stop 90 percent of our driving, we no longer take vacations or leave our homes because the price of gas is so high and Washington State is one of the highest in taxing gas. This is just a way for them to get the money back they lost when they were forced into following the Voters of Washington wishes. They have chipped away at our vote over and over again trying to get around that flat 30.00 licence fee, they have lost sleep over looking for ways to get that and more back and this stinks to high heaven as another way. MAD, your damn right, we need that brave soul back that fought for the flat tax on car licences again.

  • Difranco Difranco on Feb 11, 2008

    As a Washington State Citizen I am appalled. I love my Jeep Wrangler and most of the driving I do is in relation to the VOLUNTEER work I do with the Sheriff's department in relation to Search and Rescue activities. This would really hurt Search and Rescue activities as many volunteers have SUV / 4x4 vehicles because of the amount of special equipment that we are required to carry and the remote locations that we often have to travel to where roads may or may not be available. Most Search and Rescue organizations do not get paid or reimbursed for the fuel, uniforms, and other special equipment we have to purchase. The organization is an auxiliary to the County Sheriff's and the Department of Emergency management. We get called on out on regular basis to find lost children, Alzheimer patients, hikers/backpackers, hunters, and many other outdoor enthusiasts. The Fuel in Washington State has an excise tax of 36 cents per gallon. Combined with the Federal excise tax, Washington State citizens pay 54.4 cents per gallon in excise taxes.