Letter: Pull the Plug on Governor's $100 Fee For Hybrid Owners

Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to raise transportation revenue, but is this a good solution?

Dear Editor,

It is disturbing to me that Delegate Tim Hugo and Gov. Bob McDonnell have considered to propose a bill charging Hybrid owners a $100 annual fee. This will directly, and ultimately, negatively impact Virginia's economy by decreasing the demand for hybrid cars and promoting the purchase of cars that are not environmentally friendly. 

As a Citizen of Virginia and an environmentally conscious consumer I purchased a Toyota Prius C last year. I’m a young professional in the Northern Virginia area producing and editing viral web videos and I direct the annual Clifton Film Fest.

I saved up for a long time to put down money and buy this specific car. I knew hybrids were more expensive than the average car, but I was also aware I’d save money in gas as well as making a difference on the environment.

In the past, Virginia has been a leader in the growing market for clean energy vehicles and products. This policy change, however, turns back the clock on such progress.

While I understand the reasoning behind eliminating the gas tax, instating an annual fee on something someone has already purchased just seems like a way to earn a quick buck on people who were actually trying to make an educated decision.

Hybrid owners used to be honored for their choice, like being able to have access to the HOV lanes, but which is no longer in effect for hybrids registered after July 1st, 2011, on interstates 95, 395, or 66. It doesn't make sense to constantly target the people that are trying to make a difference and punish them for their efforts while rewarding owners of gas guzzling vehicles. If our state requires more money for transportation then they shouldn’t be eliminating the gas tax and supplementing with this annual alternative fuel fee.

I hope they will give this some real thought before proposing this bill and making changes that will have irreversible consequences.

Dani Weinberg

Clifton, Virginia

vincent ross January 12, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Thanks for the service
Dick Kennedy January 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM
This is an idea that doesn't seem to make sense--it would impose a financial penalty on people who are helping society by driving a car that pollutes less. If the governor wants to tax certain vehicles, it would be more logical to impose it on non-hybrid cars, like the one I drive. Or just raise the gas tax, which provides an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.
MarciaJ January 14, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Great job Dani! I posted it on my facebook page to get people to write to their state legislature to get our voices heard. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Virginia-Hybrid-Owners-Against-Bob-Mcdonnells-100-Annual-Fee
Huey January 15, 2013 at 06:56 AM
Well in a way, it makes sense, but at the same time, they should provide an incentive. Instead of charging $100 for a hybrid, they should charge $200 a year BUT allow the drivers to use the HOV lanes during rush hours without the passenger requirement on 95 and 66 and the person doesn't use or doesn't live near those corridors, they can easily apply for a waiver. It would make more sense than raising the fuel tax or taxing old gas guzzlers, which would only serve to hurt the poor and middle class who are barely trying to make ends meet. A lot of people in VA use trucks and SUV/Vans as work vehicles, meanwhile those who are well off usually buy hybrids. I mean they're even smug about it sometimes!
Danielle B July 01, 2013 at 03:20 PM
The bill passed. If your as annoyed as I am please sign my petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/virginia-hybrid-tax-repeal-the-64-tax-that-will-be-added-to-hybrid-owners-car-taxes


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