03/25/2013 by syrbal-labrys
I don’t watch the television news much. I hate how half the alleged news folks sound like carny sorts trying to get you to pay too much for a rigged attempt at winning an ugly teddy bear. But now and again, I do catch the local late news and last night was one of those times.
It is no secret that Western Washington is a seriously liberal, progressive tree-hugging enclave, with odd red and rude bits like the county where I live. So there are more hybrid and electric cars than the national norm here. And so, the state of Washington feels like having around 7% of the cars that use less gas is negatively impacting their tax base…because yes, our gas taxes here SUCK big hairy sweaty horse nuts. But our State House just cannot be having cars that use less and thereby pay less. Cause sure, and don’t you know that 7% of cars is wearing out the roads they are no longer paying their full portion of taxes to support!
So, the State House already makes drivers of electric cars pay a $100 fee per year to drive those non-gas guzzlers; they want to raise that amount and make hybrid drivers pay a $75 fee. Terr-fucking-ific, no? Fuck the environment, give us our money. Gee, let’s not maybe consider…as gas prices hover near $4 a gallon with taxes (and they talk about adding ten cents MORE per gallon), something more equitable? Like taxing based on the miles driven, perhaps? For years, Washington so taxed anyone buying a new car, that an awful lot of folks were more or less forced to drive old gas guzzlers….which fattened the state budget in gas taxes. I didn’t think Tim Eyman’s first few initiatives that put an end to those annual triple digit fees were such a bad idea…it enabled people to stop driving older polluting vehicles. (But of course, the heady power of doing that made him just go crazy…more on that later.)
I do not have an hybrid or electric car; the gas savings are not yet significant enough for me to bite the sticker price bullet….and also? Well, lets face it; the production of electricity is not a totally clean environmental choice in every situation either, is it. MY personal solution has been to drive LESS. I take my car out once or twice a week to make a giant circle or errands. My husband drives to the train to go to work. Even the existing gas taxes, for us, rather literally bill us for how much or little we drive.
But it strikes me as ignorant and petty to specially tax drivers of hybrids or electric cars, IF the rhetoric about saving the environment is anything except empty rhetoric that is. There should be some sort of bonus to doing something to keep the green hills of Washington State green in every sense.
And then, my personal axe grinding moment? The State would not be so desperate for money if the morons of the Red variety didn’t vote for damn near every fucking Tim Eyman “Don’t let’em tax you for ANYthing, but continue demanding EVERYthing” initiative, never thinking that a state government cannot maintain any infrastructure without money.
I swear, this idea that a minority of drivers be dunned for more bucks originates in the Eastern half of the state….where they likely think a ‘hybrid’ is what happens when there is sex between a liberal and a conservative.