Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

From the “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” department — last year I leased a hybrid car. My original motivation was because it has all the latest safety features, an important consideration as I age and my reflexes decline. But the nicest advantage is the fuel economy; I got over 57 miles to the gallon on my first long trip. So I’m saving money and helping the environment — win-win, right?

Then I saw this headline in last week’s Sunday newspaper: “New State Fees For Hybrids, Electric Cars To Take Effect.” Starting this week, the annual registration fee for hybrids will almost triple in my state. And Ohio isn’t the only state singling out hybrids/electrics for increased registration fees. I sure didn’t see this coming. Happy new year!

It seems the main state source for funding road and bridge construction is the gasoline tax (which also went up recently, by the way). The legislature’s logic is that vehicles that buy less gas (or no gas) still need to contribute to the construction fund, since they are using the roads despite paying less at the pump in taxes.

Okay, I can understand that. I’m driving about the same as last year even though I’m only buying roughly half the gas. I need to pay my fair share to keep the highway system maintained.

But still…..

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