State Lawmaker Questions Hybrid Vehicle Taxes

Jul 2, 2013

Now that the state’s new transportation package is in effect, a State Senator from Northern Virginia is vowing to repeal one controversial part – a fee for hybrid vehicles.

Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria, says it’s illogical and unfair to tax hybrid technology – forcing owners to pay $64 a year.

“Y’know we have people who are paying more for their vehicles and paying higher personal property taxes to do the right thing for the environment, and they shouldn’t be taxed just for  doing the right thing.”

Proponents had argued hybrid drivers would be buying less gas and paying lower fuel taxes – even though they’d be using the roads, so they figured the tax was only fair, but Ebbin argues that hybrids do still use gasoline, and some use more of it than conventional cars.

“I could tell you at least four hybrids that get worse mileage than about ten regular autos.”

The legislature did, of course, pass this tax in the first place, but Ebbin thinks lawmakers will opt to repeal it during their next session.

“The legislature never had a stand alone vote on this particular tax.  They were given a take it or leave  it final conference committee vote, so there was never a chance to amend it out of the bill.”

There are fewer than 92,000 hybrids owned by Virginians -- less than one percent of cars in the Commonwealth.  Ebbin says getting rid of the tax would reduce state revenue by just $6 million out of a $3.5 billion budget.