Monday, November 18, 2013

Surovell & Ebbin Launch Effort to Repeal Hybrid Tax

Last year, the General Assembly adopted a $100 per year tax on hybrid vehicles as part of our the transportation funding legislation.

Senator Adam Ebbin and I started an effort to repeal this tax which resulted in over 7,300 Virginians signing a petition urging the veto of the tax.  Governor McDonnell eventually reduced it to $64.

I wrote about it here:

Today, Senator Ebbin and I introduced legislation to repeal the tax.  Our press release is below.

November 18, 2013

Contact: Senator Ebbin – Sam Bosch
Contact: Delegate Surovell - Megan Howard


Legislators say tax on technology punishes drivers who choose to do the right thing

November 18, 2013.  Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Delegate Scott A. Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) filed legislation on Monday to repeal the recently enacted $64 per year tax on hybrid vehicles.  The bill are numbered House Bill 4 and the Senate Bill number is pending.

Virginia's annual tax on hybrid vehicles was enacted in the 2013 General Assembly Session as part of House Bill 3202 (HB3202).  A $100 tax was originally proposed by Governor Robert McDonnell, but was omitted from both versions of HB3202 passed by the House of Delegates and State Senate before reappearing in the Conference Committee version of the legislation. After more than 7,300 Virginians signed an online petition calling for the repeal of the hybrid tax at Governor McDonnell successfully proposed a reduction of the tax to $64 per year as part of a broad package of amendments to HB3202. 

"The hybrid tax punishes Virginians who choose to do the right thing," said Delegate Surovell, "it is a tax on virtue." "Hybrid owners already pay higher personal property and titling taxes in addition to paying more for their vehicles in order to be good environmental stewards. They also already do pay gasoline taxes." said Senator Ebbin.  

According to the Michigan Transportation Institute, the average fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the United States was 24.9 miles per gallon in the United States in 2013.  The average MPG of a 2013 Toyota Prius is 50 MPG.  A Prius driven 15,000 miles would consume about 200 fewer gallons per year than an average vehicle and pay about $25 per year less in gas taxes (at a rate of $0.125/gallon).  Many hybrids get much worse gas mileage, including the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid that averages only 20 MPG.  The Tahoe owner pays more in gas tax than the average gas-only vehicle, and also currently pays an additional $64 annual hybrid tax. 

Ebbin said that “The mileage of both hybrids and non-hybrids vary significantly.  There are gasoline-only autos that get better mileage than some hybrids, and some hybrids, including SUVs, that do not get mileage as good as many gas-only powered cars.”   

"By setting a fixed tax and focusing on a specific technology instead of gas mileage, this tax is out of touch with the fiscal realities of driving," said Delegate Surovell.  "It discourages people from making fuel efficient purchases." 

People interest in signing Senator Ebbin and Delegate Surovell’s petition urging the repeal of the hybrid tax pay still do so at

Repeal of the tax generated bipartisan support during 2013 House of Delegates campaigns. Republican Delegates Tim Hugo, Barbara Comstock and House Transportation Committee Chairman Tom Rust all called for elimination of the annual tax. 

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US Department of Energy’s website (

Sample of Four of the Lower Mileage Hybrids getting less than 30 mpg:
Lexus LS 600h L              (20 MPG)
GMC Yukon Hybrid           (21 MPG)
Toyota Highlander Hybrid  (28 MPG)
Chevy Malibu Hybrid         (29 MPG)

Sample of Higher Mileage Gasoline Engines: (all getting at least 30 MPG)
Chevrolet Cruze Eco  (31 MPG)
Chevrolet Sonic          (31 MPG)
Fiat 500                      (30 MPG)
Ford Focus                 (31 MPG)
Ford Fiesta                 (33 MPG)
Honda Civic                (32 MPG)
Hyundai Accent          (32 MPG)
Hyundai Elantra          (32 MPG)
Mazda 2                     (30-32 MPG)
Nissan Versa              (35 MPG)
Toyota Yaris               (32 MPG)
Toyota Corolla            (29 MPG auto, 30 MPG manual) 

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