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SavageRonald

My Stance On Issue 1:
The registration tax on passenger vehicles should not be inversely proportional to the gas milage of a vehicle. While this may promote the use of more efficient vehicles and a reduction in the consumption of resources, some people and the many business that rely on larger vehicles would suffer in the end.

My Position:
The registration tax on passenger vehicles should not be inversely proportional to the gas mileage of a vehicle. While this may promote the use of more efficient vehicles and a reduction in the consumption of resources, some people and the many business that rely on larger vehicles would suffer in the end. The new taxes would be difficult to implement and enforce. Also, vehicle manufacturers and dealers would have difficulty adjusting to the changes.

The biggest opposition to the inverse proportion gas economy tax would be the fact that some people and especially businesses require a large and sometimes fuel inefficient vehicle. It’s a fact that more fuel efficient vehicles tend to be less powerful. For example, we’ll take two of the same vehicle and compare them. The Ford Escape is a popular sport utility vehicle that is available in a number of different configurations, each with different fuel economies and power ratings. First off, the most fuel-efficient model of the Escape is the new hybrid gas/electric. This model has a fuel economy of up to 30mpg on the highway, but yields only 150hp. The six cylinder gasoline model yields 22mpg highway and 201hp. This is just a small example within one vehicle model, but the larger engine blows the hybrid out of the water in power, exceeding it by more than 50hp. The V6 can tow 5,560lbs, while the hybrid can only tow 4,720lbs. (Source: http://www.cars.com). This example shows that within one vehicle model, a larger, more inefficient engine can bring almost 1,000 more towing pounds to the table. Cross this across models and this can make an extreme difference. Business that require vehicles to haul large, heavy loads and trailers, or people with large families or other needs to carry cargo and people, would be negatively affected by this tax change. Box vans, work trucks, church buses, carpools, etcetera, would pay the price. Business would suffer paying the larger taxes when they already pay special taxes and fees for having commercial vehicles. Large families would have to pay more for their vehicle, and would have less to spend on their already needy family. A good solution to this rather large loophole in the tax, would be to restrict the gas tax. For example, Georgia’s current Clean Air Act, vehicles that are over 25 model years old, cars that burn diesel, propane, natural gas, or other alternative fuels, and cars that are more than 8600lbs of gross vehicle weight are exempt from emissions testing. (Source: http://www.cleanairforce.com) If this tax included exceptions very large vehicles, old vehicles, or perhaps even vehicles that can be used for that transportation of many passengers, the new tax would be much more feasible.

This new tax could be more difficult to levy than many of its supporters realize. First and foremost, the methods for determining gas mileage would not take into account enough factors. The EPA conducts tests on nearly all vehicles to get two average fuel economies: city miles per gallon, and highway miles per gallon. These numbers are good averages, but do not take into account everything. The weight of the vehicle greatly affects gas mileage. Optional equipment and everyday items that the car’s owner carries in it will determine the weight of the vehicle. If the user frequently tows a trailer or heavy loads, the gas mileage will be affected. The conditions such as weather, elevation, traffic, etc that the car is normally driven in will greatly affect gas mileage. Modifications to the car such as engine modification, exhaust modification, larger or smaller tires, raising or lowering of the vehicle’s suspension, etc can affect fuel economy for the better or worse. These factors can make a significant difference on the vehicle’s fuel economy and will differ from person to person. A check on each vehicle would not be a cost effective way to implement the tax, and a blanketing fee on a bracket of fuel economies would be unfair to the “borderline” economy ratings.

Finally, manufacturers and dealers would probably suffer the most if such a tax was implemented. The manufacturers and dealers of cars have invested millions of dollars in the development and production of their vehicles. Creating a tax that would decrease the number of larger cars sold would be a serious blow to the vehicle manufacturing economy. The larger, more inefficient cars also tend to be more expensive and more profitable for the automobile industry.

In my opinion, there are much simpler and effective ways of trying to get people to drive more efficient cars. The larger cars use more fuel, which is what the tax is trying to discourage. However, fuel is already taxed. If we want the cars that use more fuel to be taxed more, why not just tax fuel more? This would eliminate the problem of differing fuel economies, driving styles and conditions, etc. Also, there are already some taxes in place such as the “gas guzzler” tax that provide incentive for people to buy more efficient cars. Discounts on vehicle registration for alternative fuel vehicles and the money saved on not burning as much fuel also contribute to people’s desire for a more fuel efficient vehicle without taxing the car more directly.


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