That master of irony, Oscar Wilde, got off many good lines during his creative writing career. Perhaps best known is “No good deed goes unpunished.”
We are about to see good deeds by many Michiganders punished for no good reason if a bill now before the state legislature becomes law. The bill would raise registration fees for owners of hybrid and electric vehicles.
How crazy can our local law makers get? Apparently, some would ignore 40 years of national policy intended to replace gas-guzzling vehicles with more efficient models. The original idea was to reduce or eliminate our dependence on imported oil. A more important reason that has come into sharper focus
|Less Woulld Be Better|
Going to hybrid or electric vehicles has a big impact. Our family car gets relatively good gas mileage. However, we could do much better. I've done the math. If we replaced our aging sedan with a comparable Toyota Prius or Ford C-Max, we would double our gas mileage.
Making that significant contribution to environmental quality would cost us about $5,000, the difference between the hybrid price and a gasoline-only auto with comparable features. People who own hybrids were willing to back their beliefs about environmental quality with cash, although they probably could recoup the investment with savings at the pump over the life of the vehicle.
I know several Prius owners (the C-Max wasn't sold in the
U.S. until this
year.) None bought their cars to save money. Every one of them made the
purchase to help enhance the environment. Punishing them with higher taxes
would be idiotic.
A much better idea is to simply raise the tax on gasoline to get the increased road maintenance money we need. That would create a bigger incentive for millions of us to reduce our carbon footprints by “trading up” to one of the growing number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the market today. It also would reduce at least some unnecessary driving, and that would help, too.