Here Comes the Gas-Powered Car Tax!

The House Transportation Committee is about to take up H.552 - An act relating to transportation initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, which would, among other things, impose new taxes (or fines, depending upon how you look at it) on vehicles that get less than 24 miles per gallon of gasoline or diesel.

These “efficiency fees”, that’s the sugarcoated term used by the sponsors of the bill (there are 60 of them!) for the taxes/fines are as follows:

  • For Light Trucks: $500 if the vehicle gets less than 16 mpg, $170 if the vehicle gets between 16 mpg and 20 mpg.
  • For Passenger Automobiles: $750 if the vehicle gets less than 21 mpg, $400 if the vehicle gets between 21 and 24 mpg.
  • For SUVs: $500 if the vehicle gets less than 16 mpg, $250 if the vehicle gets between 16 and 20 mpg.

These fines will be extracted when a new vehicle is registered for the first time, and the revenue raised will be used to subsidize the purchase by other Vermonters of politically favored vehicles.

According to Road Show, from September 2020 to September 2021 new average car prices went up 12.1%, or $4,872 and the average price of a new car hit $45,000. So, it’s nice to know with everything getting more expensive and life becoming less affordable our elected representatives in Montpelier are there to help!

- Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute


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Enter Comment Here:

  • Christian M
    commented 2022-01-16 03:26:27 -0500
    I highly doubt that people who care about affordability are buying $45,000+ vehicles.

    Looking at an efficiency fee and only calculating the negative cost misses half of the equation. At $3.50/gal and driving 12,500 miles/yr you will annually save around $547/yr with a 20mpg vehicle vs 16mpg.

    Not sure why you didn’t include what your named “politically favored vehicles” are. The bill has effciency rebates for light trucks >=26mpg, passenger >=30mpg, and SUVs >=26mpg.
  • Forbes Morrell
    commented 2022-01-10 21:04:06 -0500
    Please print the names of those legislators proposing this bill and contact points
  • Rob Roper
    published this page in EAI Blog 2022-01-10 13:35:55 -0500