Virginia Chapter Sierra Club

Repeal the Hybrid Car Tax

We should be taxing pollution, not climate solutions. Unfortunately, the 2013 General Assembly passed a bill that does the opposite: punishing Virginians for conserving gasoline by slapping a $64 annual tax on owners of hybrid vehicles. In the 2014 legislative session, CCAN and our legislative partners are working to repeal this unfair tax with bi-partisan bills in the state House and Senate. 

Virginians are already experiencing the effects of climate change—more summer heat waves, stronger hurricanes and, in coastal neighborhoods, more frequent flooding from sea-level rise. We need policymakers to move us forward with aggressive solutions to address climate change, not penalize people trying to do their part.

That’s why Sierra Club and Chesapeake Climate Action Network is partnering with several lawmakers to pass the hybrid tax repeal when the General Assembly convenes in January 2014. The bill is being introduced with bipartisan support in the Virginia State House as HB4 and in the State Senate as SB1.

Take Action

Virginia needs to stop attacking climate solutions! A tax on hybrids is a tax on people trying to do their part to reduce oil consumption and climate pollution. This is not smart for the climate and it's unfair for consumers. We need real solutions now.

Email Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe and Transportation Secretary nominee Aubrey Layne and urge them to support a repeal of the hybrid tax.

Learn More

WTVR: "Hybrid owners protest Va. transportation plan," 1/31/13.

Huffington Post: "Virginia To Impose Annual Fees On Hybrid Car Owners, Fueling Protests," 2/20/13.

The Hill: "Enviros decry Virginia tax on hybrid cars," 3/26/13.

Washington Post: "Virginia legislators seek to repeal hybrid tax," 7/1/13.

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Repeal the Hybrid Car Tax

Dear [Decision Maker],

As climate change impacts intensify in Virginia, our state should be rewarding solutions, not punishing them. Taxing hybrid car owners is arbitrary, unfair, and it sends Virginians the wrong message.

A tax on hybrids is a tax on virtue. Energy conservation is a good thing. Punishing good behavior simply sends the wrong message. Not only are hybrid owners already paying for road infrastructure via the gas tax, they are also mitigating the effects of climate change by driving more efficient cars. Taxing citizens for owning hybrids is just as wrongheaded as it would be to tax citizens for recycling or buying energy efficient light bulbs. Climate solutions should be encouraged rather than punished.

A tax on hybrids is arbitrary and simply unfair. Hybrid owners pay gas taxes just like owners of gas-only vehicles. Additionally, some non-hybrid cars get better gas mileage than some hybrid cars. For instance, a 2014 Toyota Highlander hybrid gets 28 combined miles per gallon (mpg) while a 2014 Toyota Corolla gas-only vehicle gets 32 combined mpg. Thus, some hybrid owners actually pay more gas taxes than owners of gas-only vehicles, AND are additionally punished by the $64 annual hybrid tax. Arbitrary laws that unfairly tax different groups of constituents are wrong.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers are leading the way in 2014 to repeal this unfair and illogical tax and refund hybrid owners who have already had to pay it. Bills to repeal and refund the hybrid tax have been introduced with bipartisan support in the Virginia State House as HB4 and in the State Senate as SB1. As Virginians concerned that a tax on virtue sends the wrong message, we urge you to support the repeal of the hybird tax.

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