Friday, March 23, 2007

New Senate Bill Creates anti-SUV Incentive Program

From The John & Ken Show:

Did you know that you already pay about $1,500 dollars of taxes when you buy a new vehicle?
Well, for some government regulators, that’s just not enough. Now, they want to more than DOUBLE taxes on some vehicles. Right now, Assembly Bill 493 in the California legislature would do just that.
Some Government officials in Sacramento have come up with a scheme to force families who choose new minivans or SUVs to pay a $2,500 penalty to the state. The government would then take the $2,500 and “rebate” YOUR money to someone else buying a car that the bureaucrats favor. . .
more here.

Here's my two cents on both sides of this issue:
On the one hand, I don't appreciate having to park in 3/4 of a parking spot because mom's street tank is oozing out the sides or hers. I see no reason why people need the most massive vehicle available. I don't claim to know the science on pollution and greenhouses and global fireballs, but I must say that I believe it's repugnant to have and pollute more than you need just because you can. Generally I say "government, hands-off." But when only a fanciful interest is at stake, and there are real congestion and pollution concerns at stake, I'm not too upset about the state taking action.

On the other hand, until Orange County creates a real alternative to automobiles, then maybe we should back off on making moral judgments about what we choose to drive. If I drive a Lincoln Navigator instead of taking the subway, then shoot me. If I drive a Navigator instead of a miserable minivan, then cut me some slack.


  1. The argument that an SUV tax is an extraordinary instance of government intervention leaves out the fact that the government has already intervened on our gas tax, vehicle import tax, etc.

    When you think about the waste per vehicle in terms of manufacturing parts used to make an SUV, the 1500 is worth it.

    And then when you think of the gas efficiency, or lack thereof in an SUV......the mind staggers at the wastefulness.......

  2. Sometimes I am encouraged at some market efforts to curb these effects. Observe this site, the URL says it all:

  3. This will be a stupid law. Not every SUV is a gross polluter. Plus, some people use their vehicle for work.

    I drive a Rav4 and my car is rated to get the same gas mileage as a Honda Accord. I bought my vehicle (a mini SUV) to use in the scope of my small business. I am not some overly-coiffed NASCAR mom on a Costco run.

    The new tax would hurt me and potentially discourage me from pursuing my entrepreneurial ventures.

    If they levy a tax on my Rav4, they should also tax the Honda Accords. It's only fair.

  4. I have a friend who stands at 6'7". He is so tall that he doesn't even fit into a standard Hummer. There is a particular brand of SUV that fits his towering stature enough to allow him to drive comfortably.

    He not able to drive an eco-car. I guess he deserves to pay more for being so tall. Darn him!

  5. well, should your friend not have to pay more for pants, even though they use more fabric, because it would be unfair?

  6. Actually, my friend does not have to pay more, because he shops at a totally different retailer than you 'average' guys. These special shops are not any more costly than the average men's shoppes.

    However, are you asking whether he should be taxed more for wearing bigger pants or whether he should just pay more for pants in general?

    He pays more based on the type of vehicle he drives and its amenities. I really don't think it takes that much more metal and plastic to build his car than the average sedan. Adding a special 'tall' tax is asinine.