Sponsors: Representative Norman Major [R], Representative Susan Almy [D], Representative John Graham [R], Representative Patrick Abrami [R]
A bipartisan bill proposed in the New Hampshire House would create a new tax, specifically aimed at a particular cohort: Owners of fuel-efficient vehicles.
Sponsored by three Republicans and one Democrat, HB1649 establishes a “road usage fee”. Of course, legislators understand that it’s easier to create new taxes by calling them ‘fees’, ‘premiums’ , or anything else. Make no mistake, though. This bill creates a new tax. In a wonderful display of irony on multiple levels, these politicians are seeking to punish people for the crime of driving hybrid or electric vehicles.
The bill may have been proposed because the sponsors were concerned that those who drive hybrid and electric vehicles would pay less gas taxes, which could negatively impact the government’s revenue. Considering that the state’s gas tax is 24 cents per gallon, the government would lose a significant amount of revenue from the fuel-efficient drivers. These four lawmakers figured that they would create a new tax in order to get ‘their’ money back from these damned drivers by creating a new ‘fee’, outlined below:
“The road usage fee shall be based on a vehicle that travels 12,000 miles per year and averages 20 MPG. Such a base vehicle would use 600 gallons of fuel and pay $132.20 per year in road toll. The road usage fee shall be $10.00 for 20 MPG or less vehicles. The road usage fee for the other MPG ranges shall be rounded to the nearest $25 increment; therefore, the road usage fee for the following MPG increment ranges are:
MPG range Fee
20 or less $10.00
greater than 20 to 30 $25.00
greater than 30 to 40 $50.00
greater than 40 to 50 $75.00
greater than 50 $100.00
no gasoline $125.00”
Why it’s ironic:
Republicans claim to support a free market, low taxes, freedom, and clean air. So….why punish people for choosing to drive the vehicle that they desire?
Democrats claim to support global warming, clean air, and the use of electric vehicles. So….why punish people for driving electric cars? Just a few years ago, you Democrats were giving people thousands of dollars to incentivize them to buy electric cars!
The House Public Works and Highways Committee amended the bill (seemingly to remove the exception for motorcycles, meaning that the new tax would also apply to motorcycles) and then recommended that the House pass the bill.
If you do not support this bill, make sure to email your Representatives, the PW&H Committee, and Governor Sununu. Explain to them what a new tax would do to you and your family. This bill is bipartisan and passed the committee. It will become the law unless you stop it.
House Bill 1509 has died in the House. Thank you for contacting your representatives!