April 5, 2013

Virginia now penalizes hybrid car owners (updated 2-14)

Read the small print!

Virginia's recently approved House Bill 2313 sounded friendly at first glance. It had a non-threatening title after all: "Revenues and appropriations of State; changes to revenues collected and distribution."

Keep reading and you'll find that the bill imposes a $64 (originally $100) annual registration fee on hybrid vehicles.

The "thinking" behind this legislation is that green folks driving green cars are paying less in gasoline taxes. Yup, they are using less gasoline. That's the whole point of buying a hybrid or electric car, which by the way is a good bit pricier than a gas guzzler. So the Commonwealth of Virginia already gets more in sales tax when owners buy their green cars.

One estimate by Virginia Clean Cities is that $64 is about four times what a hybrid Civic owner would save in gasoline taxes. So go figure!

2-14 update: Virginia legislators repent and relent. This ridiculous fee will be eliminated in 2014.