It is disturbing to me that Delegate Tim Hugo and Gov. Bob McDonnell have considered to propose a bill charging Hybrid owners a $100 annual fee. This will directly, and ultimately, negatively impact Virginia's economy by decreasing the demand for hybrid cars and promoting the purchase of cars that are not environmentally friendly.
As a Citizen of Virginia and an environmentally conscious consumer I purchased a Toyota Prius C last year. I’m a young professional in the Northern Virginia area producing and editing viral web videos and I direct the annual Clifton Film Fest.
I saved up for a long time to put down money and buy this specific car. I knew hybrids were more expensive than the average car, but I was also aware I’d save money in gas as well as making a difference on the environment.
In the past, Virginia has been a leader in the growing market for clean energy vehicles and products. This policy change, however, turns back the clock on such progress.
While I understand the reasoning behind eliminating the gas tax, instating an annual fee on something someone has already purchased just seems like a way to earn a quick buck on people who were actually trying to make an educated decision.
Hybrid owners used to be honored for their choice, like being able to have access to the HOV lanes, but which is no longer in effect for hybrids registered after July 1st, 2011, on interstates 95, 395, or 66. It doesn't make sense to constantly target the people that are trying to make a difference and punish them for their efforts while rewarding owners of gas guzzling vehicles. If our state requires more money for transportation then they shouldn’t be eliminating the gas tax and supplementing with this annual alternative fuel fee.
I hope they will give this some real thought before proposing this bill and making changes that will have irreversible consequences.