Letter: Hybrid fee defies logic
Posted on Feb 12, 2014 - 02:53 PM Printer Friendly View
Okay. I knew the 2013 General Assembly passed a huge transportation bill. And I know roads need repair and construction is expensive; however, the shock of having to pay $114 for license plate stickers for my Prius was downright painful. And the logic escapes me.
My understanding of the plan was to lower the gas tax by 17 cents. Thus, anyone buying gas in Virginia was in a minus tax situation. So why are hybrid owners penalized for buying less of a minus gas product? Hybrid owners are using less of a precious commodity (which is being used up by large trucks and sport utility vehicles), saving the planet and a little money … but somehow we are the bad guys?! Not logical.
I don’t mind paying extra for “vanity” plates—mine says BCIVIL, and believe me, I’m trying. But the $64 penalty is simply unfair—and possibly unconstitutional. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, in part, “nor shall any State … deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” If only one set of persons in Virginia is paying a penalty for driving low gas mileage cars, isn’t that a deprivation of equal protection?
I learned a long time ago that if an elected official receives at least 10 letters on a given issue, they will pay attention. This law can be changed by the 2014 General Assembly now in session. Hybrid drivers: Write your senator and delegate! Send them e-mail on their websites, call them on the phone! We deserve better treatment from our representatives. Make your voices heard!