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Old 02-26-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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to move away from Godwin, I would also note that the hybrid fee was proposed as part of the original package, which would have completely abolished the Va gas tax. That, plus the level, plus the inconsistent treatment of hybrids vs other ways to save fuel (is the Commonwealth going to discourage me from keeping my tires inflated, from refraining from idling my engine, etc?) suggests strongly to me like this is about the perception of the hybrid owning demographic.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
if this is about "fair share" than comparing a hybrid SUV to a conventionally powered compact is absolutely fair. Narrowing it to the choices people make is only relevant if its about changing incentives, and AFAIK no on supporting the provision has said they want to reduce the incentive to purchase hyrids.

I remain convinced that this is a conspiracy against "smug" people - "smug" almost always referring to things done by "progressives" - buying a cup of fair trade coffee is "smug" but sending money to a religious mission to convert central american peasants, is never "smug".
I have no problem with your argument in that regard, in terms of "fair share" it should just be based on miles driven and probably the size of the vehicle. As I have pointed out though, mileage taxes are invasive and probably not politically feasible. That is just my opinion though, I could certainly be wrong.

My point is simply that hybrids, across the board, get better mileage than their counterparts so it stands to reason that hybrid drivers (all things equal) will pay less in gas tax. As I said, this is not the way I would do it, but I do not believe it is some conspiracy against liberal people. It is just math. It will not be fair in every instance but overall it probably does what it sets out to do within a standard deviation.

But you are entitled to your opinion just like I am entitled to mine. You clearly (judging from the comments that you just made) have a dislike for conservative churchgoing folks and an affinity for progressives. That is cool, we all have our biases. When I say smug I mean it strictly in the sense of selectively highlighting certain aspects of a situation that allows them to feel superior (my car is green therefore I am morally superior) while disregarding the other aspects (I'm using the same roads and paying a lot less gas tax than others). Smug can just as easily apply to a churchgoing person who preaches that they are morally superior because they are christian and believes that God loves all of his children and created us but hates gays or a tea partier who gets on their soapbox to rail against ALL government spending yet works for the govt. Don't let the Us vs Them political climate fill you with anger to the point that you can't look at a situation objectively.

Last edited by UHgrad; 02-26-2013 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:06 AM
 
3,155 posts, read 8,093,833 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
So no, this is not really about making up for missing gas tax revenues due to using less gas. If we really wanted to do that, we would look at a VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax. This is an attack on SLL (stuff liberals like).
VMT tax collection is invasive and cost prohibitive. It requires that every vehicle have a GPS installed to track where they've gone.

The gas tax + very efficient vehicle fee seems like a good compromise. You get something approximating the VMT tax but it's a lot easier and cheaper to collect.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
But you are entitled to your opinion just like I am entitled to mine. You clearly have a dislike for conservative churchgoing folks and an affinity for progressives. That is cool. When I say smug I mean it strictly in the sense of selectively highlighting certain aspects of a situation that allows them to feel superior (my car is green therefore I am morally superior) while disregarding the other aspects (I'm using the same roads and paying a lot less gas tax than others). Smug can just as easily apply to a churchgoing person who believes that God loves all of his children and created us but hates gays or a tea partier who gets on their soapbox to rail against ALL government spending yet works for the govt. Don't let the Us vs Them political climate fill you with anger to the point that you can't look at a situation objectively.

I am a more or less regular synagogue goer, and have plenty of friends who are regular church goers, and I admire much that those churches do. I do not dislike churchgoers at all. I do find the resentment of "smugness" tends to be focused more on the kinds of acts progressives do to improve the world, and less on the kinds of things others do. I also do not know anyone who thinks they are morally superior only for driving a Prius.

And again, we are referrring to the governors proposal - which was first made when the gas tax was to be abolished, which is inconsistent in its treatment of other vehicles, which is too high for its stated purpose. At some point, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, I'm going to call it a duck.

And again, the notion that the Gov believes paying for roads via the gas tax is intrinsically "fair" is contradicted by his original proposal, which would have shifted the entire burden from the gas tax to the sales tax.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,671,884 times
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Originally Posted by pcity View Post
VMT tax collection is invasive and cost prohibitive. It requires that every vehicle have a GPS installed to track where they've gone.

The gas tax + very efficient vehicle fee seems like a good compromise. You get something approximating the VMT tax but it's a lot easier and cheaper to collect.

Eh? A national VMT tax of course would need no GPS. I suppose a Va one would, or we would be taxing people for using roads in Md, DC, etc. We of course do tax people for gas they use to commute across state lines, but thats more likely to be a wash than a new VMT tax would be. Even at that you could probably program a GPS to only count miles in Va vs all other miles, and not record any other data, but folks probably wouldnt trust that.

but the gas tax is not equivalent of course. for reasons stated above, with respect to differing MPG in each power type, differences in how vehicles are driven, etc.

Note also, some of our highway dollars are spent on projects to reduce congestion - one of the benefits of said projects (included in standard cost benefit analysis) is the reduction in excess fuel usage and in pollution that results when vehicles sit in congestion, vs free flowing traffic. To tax vehicles for their fuel usage (and thus emissions - I mean criteria pollutants, not just CO2) seems perverse.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
If the objective is to pay more for heavier cars, then say so. Charge a fee based on car weight. If the objective is to pay more for the amount of mileage driven, then say so. Charge a fee based on miles driven (could be noted during inspection).

If the objective is to lash out against some federal regulation--that seems worrisome to me. If the governor is angry about a federal regulation, work to remove it. "I'll show you, I'll create an additional stupid regulation" is not the sort of attitude I want from my governor.
I think this is fair. I do have concerns that this will create a market for rolling back odometers or inspectors lying though. Also as others have pointed out, there is no guarantee those miles were driven in VA without some sort of GPS tracking. So in that sense it would be difficult to enforce but probably 95% of people would comply and it would work OK.

I actually prefer something like this with a weight fee assessed at registration, but this was not on the table, I am just commenting on what did pass and how it is really not all that "unfair" to hybrid owners despite the outrage.

Last edited by UHgrad; 02-26-2013 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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Originally Posted by pcity View Post


Did you really just compare hybrid owners in VA with Jews in Nazi Germany?
A bit dramatic, yes... but think about it. When you specify a penalty being aimed at a group of people, rather than creating a fee addressing a specific need, you are playing the same sort of harassment game that the nazis played in the pre-war days. In other words, a fee based on weight of car would be fine--a fee specifically targeted against hybrid owners is dubious.

(Note.... I'm talking about pre-war games only. Not trying to claim that McDonnell will be rounding up hybrid car owners and sending them to concentration camps or anything even remotely like that.)
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:25 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,199,118 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I am a more or less regular synagogue goer, and have plenty of friends who are regular church goers, and I admire much that those churches do. I do not dislike churchgoers at all. I do find the resentment of "smugness" tends to be focused more on the kinds of acts progressives do to improve the world, and less on the kinds of things others do. I also do not know anyone who thinks they are morally superior only for driving a Prius.
Your general point is taken, there is probably a bias in that direction overall.

To your last comment...I dunno this sounds a little like that to me (see quote from thread below). Not that I disagree with her points about cleaner ari and less reliance on fossil fuels, I just don't think it has anything to do with paying for the roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
I agree with that. It just makes no sense to penalize people for making a choice that is good for all of us. Cleaner air, less reliance on fossil fuels. This kind of partisanship is so bad for our country, and this is a perfect example of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
And again, we are referrring to the governors proposal - which was first made when the gas tax was to be abolished, which is inconsistent in its treatment of other vehicles, which is too high for its stated purpose. At some point, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, I'm going to call it a duck.

And again, the notion that the Gov believes paying for roads via the gas tax is intrinsically "fair" is contradicted by his original proposal, which would have shifted the entire burden from the gas tax to the sales tax.
Now that point I will agree with, I had a hard time reconciling the hybrid tax with the original proposal which eliminated the gas tax altogether. I suppose if I were looking for a conspiracy that would be some decent evidence.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:29 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,671,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
Your general point is taken, there is probably a bias in that direction overall.

To your last comment...I dunno this sounds a little like that to me:
All other things being equal a choice of a hybrid IS a good thing.

It does not justify smugness, because all other things are never equal. That person driving the gas guzzler may have solar panels on their roof. Or they may have paid to save a rain forest in Brazil. Or they may need that minivan to shuttle around the 5 children they have adopted.

Saying "I did X rather than Y therefore I am morally superior" is different from saying "X is better for the planet than Y" Stating the latter does not imply the former.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,826,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
That, plus the level, plus the inconsistent treatment of hybrids vs other ways to save fuel (is the Commonwealth going to discourage me from keeping my tires inflated, from refraining from idling my engine, etc?) suggests strongly to me like this is about the perception of the hybrid owning demographic.
Good point. Yes, we should all be charged fees for keeping our tires properly inflated, since that means we'll use less gas.
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