Why Raise the Gas Tax When You Can Kick Virginia Hippies Instead
So, gentle readers, what doyou think is the best way to address long-term road infrastructure funding and energy costs in America? Perhaps you've thought about finally, after over ten years, raising the federal gas tax just a wee amount. That idea is not bad! As people have driven more of the fuel-efficient nature-lover cars, the gubmint has gotten less monies, but raising the tax would solve that. But that idea is for stupidheads, not visionary change agents like Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. The first step in his genius plan is to eliminate the state gas tax:
Eliminate the current 17.5 cents per gallon motor fuels tax on gasoline: The viability of the gas tax as the state's primary revenue source for transportation has been eroded by greater vehicle fuel mileage, the introduction of alternative fuel vehicles and the impact of inflation.
Huh whut? The gas tax has become less viable because people are being smarter, so the best way to reward that behavior is to completely remove the incentive to conserve. Bob McDonnell is some kind of fucking wizard.
You might be wondering what the rest of this amazing plan is. We've got a terrific summary for you, a real nice 50,000-foot overview. In brief, it is hippie-punching:
Impose a $100 annual Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fee and dedicate the revenues to transit. In fact, over the past four years, as gas prices have grown from less than $2 per gallon to as high as $4, more Virginians have turned to alternative fuel vehicles... Drivers of alternative fuel vehicles that use natural gas or electricity pay no motor fuels tax at the state or federal level and thus do not contribute to the primary means of funding roads. However, these vehicles still have the same impact on Virginia's roadways as conventional fuel vehicles.
Damn straight, Governor Bob. Hybrid and electrical vehicles that use far less resources are totally the problem. BURN THEM. What are the other interesting ways that Virginia would like to fuck over people who conserve?
Replace the current gas tax with a 0.8 cent increase to the Sales and Use Tax (SUT) dedicated to transportation
You know what is totally cool? Burden shifting! Now you, public transport using, regular stuff-buying person, can pay more because there are more taxes on everything, and drive-y McWasterson can effectively pay less because of no gas tax! Everybody but you wins!
Dave Weigel notes that this will probably play well because everybody hates taxes, and he's right. Yr Wonkette notes that if this goes through, we'll be avoiding driving through Virginia because we presume it will just be an unmanageable hellscape of wrecked roads and fallen bridges, as there's no way this proposal actually generates any monies.