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Wilimington Star criticizes G.A.’s attack on fuel efficient cars

In case you missed it, the Wilmington Star has a thoughtful editorial about the new taxes on fuel efficent cars in the Senate budget.

The fossil-fuel industry couldn’t have written a better bill to discourage North Carolinians from buying hybrid and electric cars, but it didn’t have to. The state Senate budget released Sunday contains a provision that would tax owners of hybrid and electric vehicles because, according to Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, “They don’t pay the motor fuels tax.”

It would cost hybrid owners an extra $50 a year to renew their registrations, on top of the $28 all car owners pay. Owners of electric vehicles would get socked with an extra $100. That’s apparently the thanks drivers get for trying to save money on gasoline and reduce carbon emissions….

In fairness, this may not be a conscious effort to discourage the purchase of hybrids and all-electric vehicles, but the proposal illustrates that the gas tax relied on for so long to build and repair our state’s roads has its limits. As cars have gotten more fuel-efficient overall and during the recent recession, revenue from the motor fuels tax has dropped. It is expected to continue to decline as fuel efficiency continues to improve and hybrids become even more popular.

That leaves the General Assembly with a big dilemma: how to pay for billions of dollars in construction and maintenance needs over the next decade….

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

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