Archive for the ‘Gas guzzler legislation’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Dec. 1, 2007:

Rep. Claire Levy’s legislation proposal to impose a “gas guzzler” tax at time of purchase in the range of $80 to $100 needs to be rethought or scrapped altogether.

As planned, the money would boost revenues for the Office of Smart Growth that was created when the General Assembly passed HB 00-1427 into law in 2000.

Though Levy seems to think more money and more government will help, communities addressing growth and sprawl need to discuss the issues among their own members, not necessarily call for more money. Still, where money matters, the office’s two employees “provide direct technical and financial assistance to local governments in the areas of land use planning and growth management,” which is the office’s mission.

The office has given out $1.8 million since 2000. The proposed tax, if passed, would definitely bring in a few one-time dollars from drivers of the least fuel-efficient luxury cars with names that include Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Cadillac, Audi and even Volkswagen, Chrysler, Toyota and Ford.

Estimated fuel efficiencies in the worst cases of this group start at single digits for in-town driving and in the low teens for highway driving. The best ones go only as high as the upper teens for in-town and highway driving. However, for their drivers, what these cars lack in fuel efficiency, they make up for in power and looks.

They definitely turn heads and cause a little envy in some, too.

In spite of any ulterior motives some may have, it’s reasonable that those who use more gas and pollute more, pay a little more to help out the environment. Since luxury cars and SUVs use more gas, a logical and fair way would be to collect a tax at the pump rather than once at purchase.

Forbes.com posted a list, “2007 Top Gas Guzzlers,” that sheds light on what drivers of fuel-inefficient cars may pay yearly at the pump. The least fuel-efficient cars can pay in the neighborhood of $2,360 to $3,500 for gas a year. In contrast, those driving more fuel-efficient cars such as the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid and Honda Odyssey, spend between $500 and $1,500, according to Forbes.com. That sounds like justice for those driving more fuel-efficient cars.

Instead of attempting to change the environmental standards at the state level with Levy’s proposed legislation, efforts would be better spent to get the Environmental Protection Agency to rework the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or CAFE, to toughen fuel-efficiency standards on SUVs or make the automakers pay the price.

Right now, families wanting to buy a minivan are faced with limited fuel-efficient choices as are those working farms or needing a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to and from work.

*This title was not part of the original Camera publication.

Source: Daily Camera

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