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Posts Tagged ‘gas taxes’

Washington State Duns Battery Car Buyers

Adds registration fee to cover lost gas taxes.

by on Jan.04, 2013

An EV owner prepares to plug in. Washington lawmakers want to replace the lost gas taxes.

Buy a qualifying battery-electric vehicle and you’ll be up for a $7,500 federal tax credit.  You’ll also be in line for additional incentives from California, Colorado and nearly a dozen other states and local communities.

If anything, the Obama Administration and several other states would like to add even more incentives aimed at convincing skeptical motorists to trade in conventional, gas-powered vehicles for highly efficient electric vehicles.

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But don’t put Washington State on that list.  Despite progressive policies on a number of other environmental issues, Washington has enacted a new $100 surcharge on pure battery-electric vehicles – think Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric, but not the Chevrolet Volt or Fisker Karma.


And You Think You Pay Too Much for Gas?

It’s $9.63 a gallon in Istanbul – but only $0.06 in Caracas.

by on Apr.13, 2011

How much you pay depends on where you live.

And you thought you were paying too much?  Even at $4 a gallon, most Europeans envy us Americans.  Then again, in some of the OPEC markets, pump prices are so cheap you might get change back on a buck.

There’s no question that fuel costs are rising.  The Libyan crisis and the expectation that the global economic recovery will spur oil demand have pushed petroleum futures to more than $120 a barrel on European exchanges.  And few expect that trendline to reverse anytime soon.

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A typical barrel produces about 42 gallon of gasoline, along with plenty of other distillates.  So even when you add in shipping and refining costs – and the industry’s near-record profits – you’d expect to see pump prices of around $3.00 or so a gallon.

So, why is gasoline 160 times more expensive in Istanbul than Caracas?  Blame taxes – or credit local incentives.


No Gas Tax for Drive to Electrify, says Transportation Secretary

Government can't do it all alone, says Sec. LaHood.

by on Jan.11, 2010

There may be a new "partnership" between government and the auto industry, but don't expect the White House to fund the drive to electrify by raising gas prices, warned LaHood.

Stressing that the auto industry is an essentially part of a healthy American economy, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood nonetheless cautioned that the government can only work with the industry, not cover the cost of the massive transformation it’s not going through — particularly if that would require new gasoline taxes.

LaHood provided the opening remarks for the 2010 North American International Hall, held at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Outside the center, a group of protestors gathered to express their anger at the Obama Administration’s multi-billion dollar bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, last year.  But the Secretary defended that controversial decision.


“This industry would not have a bright future, said LaHood, without the government’s assistance.  “It’s a good investment,” and besides, he added, the protestors should be told that, “General Motors is starting to pay back the money taxpayers loaned to them.


Fix the Roads, But Don’t Ask Us to Pay for It

The Highway Trust Fund is about to go broke, again.

by on Sep.03, 2009

 61,000 miles of our National Highway System are now in poor to fair condition, 25% of bridges "structurally deficient."

About 61,000 miles of our National Highway System are in poor to fair condition.

Everyone knows what happens to a car when it runs out of fuel. Nevertheless, the same cannot be said about the Highway Trust Fund, which at current funding levels will be $17 billion short of money for the 2010 fiscal year that starts next month.

Minnesota Democrat James Oberstar’s sweeping bill to reform Transportation policy and fix the bankrupt Highway Trust Fund has been blocked by the Obama Administration, so the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, is pushing to renew the existing bill for six more years.

Virtually everyone agrees that our roads, highways and bridges need more maintenance and rebuilding, but a depressed economy and soaring budget deficits make politicians reluctant to address the problem.

In addition, the gang that lives in state along the banks of the Potomac is much better at passing out money for earmarks and pet programs, than they are at finding ways to pay for them. That’s why the Trust Fund is under funded in the first place.

The problem with renewing the existing bill is that it doesn’t contain adequate taxes to support the work required to keep roads repaired. The gasoline tax of 18.4 cents a gallon that goes toward roads has not been raised in 15 years. And, if you’ve been driving through those years, you know what has happened to our highways. About 61,000 miles of our National Highway System are now in poor to fair condition, and 152,000 bridges – 25% — are “structurally deficient.”

Well, things could get worse. The easy political position given circumstances right now is to renew the existing law, without increasing fuel taxes.

However, the numbers do not work. An estimated $235.7 billion (FY 2010-FY 2015) will be raised, but existing transportation programs cost $326.1 billion during the same period. And this doesn’t catch up with decades of neglect.

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No Potholes!

The Obama Administration kicked the problem down the road as Congress recessed this summer by moving $7 billion more in funding into the Trust Fund so that it can get by for the time being.