Massachusetts Considers 'Hummer Tax'

Hummer Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is considering a tax on large, gas-guzzling SUVs to be paid when owners register their vehicles after a purchase. Widely known as the “Hummer Tax,” the fee would go to pay for infrastructure, which Patrick says is suffering from a decade of neglect.

The tax, designed to encourage car buyers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles, will likely ruffle some feathers should it be enacted. Car sales are already dreadful, and a tax on any kind of vehicle as the industry struggles will be met with sturdy opposition. The law would be the first of its kind in the country.

Massachusetts lawmakers are already considering a 19-cent increase in the gas tax, which will surely be controversial. When you need to come up with $19 billion over the next 20 years to maintain and modernize your transportation system, you probably have to put some unpalatable options on the table.

Mass. Governor Considering ‘Hummer Tax’ on Gas Guzzlers (FoxNews.com via Autoblog)

By Stephen Markley | March 10, 2009 | Comments (12)

Comments 

Happymantis

Just add the tax to the gas tax, and it will automatically penalize drivers to inefficient vehicles, no matter what class they are in... jeez, hasn't anybody learned from the gas crisis a summer ago?!

H

Selective taxation...when do the lawsuits begin?

The responsibility of maintaining and modernizing the state's infrastructure should fall upon the shoulders of each and every resident. I am tired of this ruse of politicians trying to glean the pockets of certain populations under the pretense of being green. The only green they truly care about is money. What happens when sales of the taxed vehicles fail to fill the coffers? Who gets taxed next?

skinner

"Selective taxation...when do the lawsuits begin?"

They already have it for cars - it is called the gass guzzler tax.

Trucks were exempt for many regulations because of their work nature.

When was the last time you say anybody doing "work" with their H2 or H3?

(Selling real estate with your face plastered on the side does not count; you could do that in a Corolla.)

cody

i love this constant association in the press and government of hummers and gas guzzling. as if a toyota land cruiser, nissan armada, jeep commander, porche cayenne, land rovers, or any other large suv get better mileage. they are all gas guzzlers.

Ziggy

My friend gets 21 mpg on the highway in his H3 and I get 20 mpg in my van - so add minivans to the list!

I agree, all these Escalades and Yukons, etc. should bear gas-guzzler taxes. There's no reason that sedans and coupes should be subjected it yet large SUVs (that more often than not have only one person in them most of the time) are somehow exempt. Never made sense to me.

Eric

All, Infrastructure for the public Mass transit authority alone? Gimme a break. Meaning public transportation? Tax the folks who choose to live near the cities who are more likely to use public transportation. What about those who need to drive larger vehicles who live outside the city? Their are dirt roads in Western MA folks.. and the state certainly doesn't maintain them! In fact almost wholes towns in the sticks that get more snow (8 inches on avg per storm) more then the rest of the state. I purchased a sports car and paid the Gus Guzzler tax but this wasn't a state tax. It was included in the price of the vehicle. Keep it up and we'll be having another TEA PARTY in bean town!

Rick

I agree that a gas tax of 20cents or so would work. People who need SUV's and have bigger families would need to keep them. People who drive them just because they can would think twice about their purchase. It is something that can't be solved by creating a "HUMMER TAX". That is unfair no matter if you like SUV's or hate them. If you have an SUV and have 4 kids, well then that makes sense. Are you going to penalize big families just because they need a large vehicle for their family??? THAT IS NOT RIGHT!

DodgeFan

19 cents is an extraordinary high jump. It should be staged over a couple of years. The price of pubic transport should also increase to support itself and not live off of subdizes from other forms of transportation.

Zerf

I agree with cody, the thing I find more rediculous is several years ago you would see plenty of Hummers running around but now I see maybe 1 a week, with the bad rep they have of being environmentally unfriendly no one wants to drive one. There are many times more of the other SUVs listed.

Happymantis has it right too. You want to penalize gas guzzlers then a gas tax solves it. The more you use the more you pay, problem solved. I also like this better then the toll hikes they are talking about in this state.

Joseph Mac.

Tax, tax, tax, that's always the answer when there is a budget shortage. How about asking how and where are the current tax dollars being applied? Regardless of how much money a person makes it shouldn't take the average Joe working full-time from January thru the second week of April just to pay their taxes. This is today's reality for the majority of folks. I spent seven years as a financial auditor for PWC working with state and local gov's of all sizes. The average person would be shocked to find out how many of their tax dollars are not publicly accounted for. You are a dream come true for a career politician.

C

Like I've said in another topic.
Taxing in an economic down time to balance their budget was never a problem solving procedure.

They should have NEVER overspent in the first place and expect higher than actual income.

Just like how the general public incur credit card debts.

A personal experience: My ex-supervisor is 3 months older than me, married, and have a house. I am single, do not have a house, and going to school.
Her pay check goes to pay her credit card debt + interest.
My pay check goes to my tuition and NO credit card debt.
It might look like my life is much harsher, but it all makes sense in the long run.

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