Virginia follows Michigan's lead: rejects tax on hybrids, EVs

Dear Reader,

Remember last year, when some Michigan legislators floated the idea of imposing an additional tax on hybrids and electric vehicles to make up for a shortfall in gas tax revenues?

An analysis by the Built by Michigan coalition showed the hybrids and EVs pay their fair share of taxes and we were able to head off that legislation.

Virginia's legislature wasn't so enlightened and imposed a annual $64 fee for hybrid and EV drivers. But now they've seen the error of the ways and the Virginia senate voted to repeal the tax by a convincing 35-3 margin a few weeks ago.

“Taxes are rarely popular, but if they're to be accepted by the populace the bare minimum they have to do is make sense,” according to a story on GreenCarReports. “Virginia's annual tax on hybrid vehicles did not make sense.”

Thousands of Virginia hybrid owners signed a petition to repeal the tax on the basis that several non-hybrid vehicles that achieved better mileage than their hybrids remained untaxed--making the system unfair.

“While the theory was that more efficient vehicles had caused the shortfall, the reality is that Virginia is one of a number of states whose gas tax has been frozen for decades,” according to GreenCarReports.

These new technologies need support from policy makers, not new taxes thrown on them. We're glad that Virginians have gotten the message, but we're also hoping to see even more support from Michigan's political leadership. We need to build on our state’s leading role in designing and manufacturing advanced vehicles, developing this new technology and putting more of Michigan back to work.

Thanks for all you do.

Charles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center