States struggling to deal with declining gas tax revenues are unfairly targeting owners of gas-free vehicles to create new revenues.
Roads and bridges across the nation are largely built and maintained using money from gas taxes, and those revenues have been falling for years because cars have become more fuel efficient and Americans are driving less. But if you buy less gas, you pay less in gas taxes.
To make up the shortfall, nine states are either levying or planning to levy a tax on electric or hybrid vehicles, which obviously contribute little or nothing to gas tax revenues—or to air pollution, climate change and a host of other problems.
While the need to address the road maintenance is important, taxing green cars alone is a profoundly stupid idea. Right now, most of us are slaves to Big Oil—forced to use their fuel to power our cars, heat our homes and drive our economy because alternatives are not available or affordable. But we don’t need oil to power our economy—we can meet 100 percent of our energy needs, including transportation, right now without creating any more pollution. All we lack is the political will to make them available to everyone at an affordable price.
City, state and federal government should be working together to help people transition as fast as possible to the 100 percent clean energy future we need, not punishing consumers who make the right choice for the planet with higher taxes, and then giving billions in subsidies to the same polluting fossil fuel companies who already make trillions in profits.