Roper: Here comes the gas-powered car tax

By Rob Roper

The House Transportation Committee is about to take up H.552 — An act relating to transportation initiatives to reduce carbon emissions — which would, among other things, impose new taxes (or fines, depending upon how you look at it) on vehicles that get less than 24 miles per gallon of gasoline or diesel.

These “efficiency fees” — that’s the sugarcoated term used by the sponsors of the bill (there are 60 of them!) — for the taxes/fines are as follows:

  • For Light Trucks: $500 if the vehicle gets less than 16 mpg, $170 if the vehicle gets between 16 mpg and 20 mpg.
  • For Passenger Automobiles: $750 if the vehicle gets less than 21 mpg, $400 if the vehicle gets between 21 and 24 mpg.
  • For SUVs: $500 if the vehicle gets less than 16 mpg, $250 if the vehicle gets between 16 and 20 mpg.

These fines will be extracted when a new vehicle is registered for the first time, and the revenue raised will be used to subsidize the purchase by other Vermonters of politically favored vehicles.

According to Road Show, from September 2020 to September 2021 new average car prices went up 12.1%, or $4,872, and the average price of a new car hit $45,000. So, it’s nice to know with everything getting more expensive and life becoming less affordable, our elected representatives in Montpelier are there to help!

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

17 thoughts on “Roper: Here comes the gas-powered car tax

  1. If they tax affordable gas powered vehicles, I’ll be looking into registering mine in South Dakota.

  2. Im so sick of these shmucks. I just wont do it. One more driver illegally on the road. Ive always followed laws and paid my taxes but im not supporting this b.s. Lock me up.

    • Driving is a commercial act. However traveling with your personal property (your vehicle) is not.

      It is illegal and not lawful to drive your vehicle (commercial act) without registration and licensure.

      It is lawful and legal to travel using your vehicle which is your personal property from point A to point B as long as you’re not doing anything commercial.

      If you take the time to look it up you’ll find that there are a few different ways to make that happen and for you to be on the right side of the law without paying your taxes on the vehicle your licensing your registration your insurance. None of that is necessary it is compulsory.

      We’ve been far too kind and have allowed them to get away with ripping us off and doing things that are unlawful for far too long.

      Imagine if 25% of the state stop paying for their license registration insurance or any taxes on any vehicle that they purchase and then require the government to give the taxes back that they spent on fuel throughout the year because it’s an illegal tax. Well then maybe they’d be screwed for money wouldn’t they?

  3. transportation definition refers to driver and taxis transportation of goods for commerce
    when you actually decide to read and understand law your not a driver you dont need to register and you dont need a license to use the roads with your modern convenience.
    and if you have question i can detail it in great deal ..ive won every court case claiming i needed to register etc im at wethecom @ gmail com
    it all starts with the federal definition of driver and the supremacy clause
    the state and fed cant tell you or make you do anything unless it taxes based on commerce

    • The Department of Transportation is going into social engineering, FORCING people to drive UNSAFE ELECTRIC vehicles

      Will VTRANS be liable, when EVs are exploding in people’s garages more regularly?

      EXCERPT from:

      Pennsylvania Home s “Total Loss” After Charging Tesla In Driveway Spontaneously Combusts

      Once again, an inanimate, $60,000 Tesla has burst into flames.

      The latest incident comes from Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania, where a BEING-CHARGED Tesla in the driveway of a home reportedly caught fire, resulting in what could be a “total loss” of the home it was parked at.

      The Tesla was parked in a driveway and caught fire at about 10:30pm, the report from Patch says. ABC also posted video of the incident

      The Fort Washington fire department was dispatched to the scene at about 10:19 after a report of a vehicle on fire.

      When it arrived at the scene, fire was “emanating from the rear of the Tesla” and had made its way to the house and the attached garage, the report says.

      There was “extensive damage” to the vehicle and the house. Photos posted to the Fort Washington fire department’s website show a car engulfed in flames.

      CBS later reported that the home was a “TOTAL LOSS” following the incident.

      It’s the second incident of a Tesla catching fire in the Philadelphia suburbs this year.

      This summer, a $140,000 Model S Plaid Tesla caught fire with the driver at the wheel. The driver’s lawyer claimed the vehicle “burst into flames while the owner was driving” it.

      In other news, the NHTSA has yet to act on a wide ranging investigation it is performing into hundreds of thousands of Tesla vehicles, while the NTSB continues to warn consumers about safety issues related to the vehicles’ autonomous driving features.

      The NHTSA said it had opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s Model X, S, and 3 for model years 2014-2021.

    • I didn’t see your post before I wrote mine. Sounds like we’re on the same page but I would love to compare notes as I have yet to have tested this in court.

      Is it ok if I email you?

  4. Bob Roper

    Favored vehicles are EVs?


    RE folks claiming EVs have no CO2 emissions is utter nonsense.

    “Break their will” RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”, but that is an easily uttered slogan
    It would require:

    – Additional electricity generation plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to carry increased loads for future EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store the midday solar electricity surges for later use, aka, DUCK-curve management.
    – Major command/control-orchestrating to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times and duration of EVs and heat pumps
    2) Operating times of major appliances
    3) Control of electricity demands of commercial/industrial businesses

    RE folks would have everyone driving UNAFFORDABLE EVS, that would reduce very little CO2 compared with EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles., on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis.

    EVs do not have a tail pipe, but they sure as hell “emit” CO2.

    On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, with travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years, the CO2 emissions, based on the present New England grid CO2/kWh, would be:

    NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would emit 25.967 Mt, 246 g/mile
    TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would emit 26,490 Mt, 251 g/mile
    SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would emit 43.015 Mt, 407 g/mile
    VT Light Duty Vehicle mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would emit 56,315 Mt, 533 g/mile

    If LDV average would become 40 mpg (by means of carrots and sticks), CO2 would become about 22.7/40 x 56.315 = 32 Mt over 10y, which is not that much more than the 26,490 Mt of a Prius L Eco.
    If the NISSAN Leaf is compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle than a NISSAN Leaf, the CO2 reduction would be only 17 metric ton over TEN years.

    “Going EV” to obtain a few more Mt/vehicle would require huge capital investments having a very high cost of CO2 reduction per metric ton.

  5. You mean to tell me the fees I pay for registration and fuel are not a tax??? Do electric cars pay a fuel tax on charging that goes to repair the roads?

    • Roland,

      That bill would be unconstitutional.
      It specifically targets certain people who happen to drive low-mileage vehicles.

      Pushing many people into EVs might not be a good idea.
      However, GMP, A CANADIAN COMPANY, would LOVE it, making OODLES of money.


      THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, 66 kWh battery, battery pack cost about $10,000, or 10000/66 = $152/kWh, EPA range 238 miles, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.

      He had been driving back and forth from Thetford, VT, to Montpelier, VT, with his EV, about 100 miles via I-89
      He had parked his 2019 Chevy Bolt on the driveway, throughout the winter, per GM recall of Chevy Bolts
      He had plugged his EV into a 240-volt charger.
      His battery was at about 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM; 8 hours of charging.
      Charging over such a wide range is detrimental for the battery. However, it is required for “range-driving”, i.e., making long trips. See Note

      NOTE: Range-driving is an absolute no-no, except on rare occasions, as it would 1) pre-maturely age/damage the battery, 2) reduce range sooner, 3) increase charging loss, and 4) increase kWh/mile, and 5) increase the chance of battery fires.

      Charging at 32F or less
      Li-ions would plate out on the anode each time when charging, especially when such charging occurred at battery temperatures of 32F or less.

      Here is an excellent explanation regarding charging at 32F or less.

      Fire in Driveway: Firefighters were called to Briglin’s house on Tucker Hill Road, around 9 AM Thursday.
      Investigators from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit determined:

      1) The fire started in a compartment in the back of the passenger’s side of the vehicle
      2) It was likely due to an “electrical failure”. See Note

      NOTE: Actually, it likely was one or more battery cells shorting out, which creates heat, which burns nearby items, which creates a fire that is very hard to extinguish. See Appendix

      GM Recall of Chevy Bolts: In 2020, GM issued a worldwide recall of 68,667 Chevy Bolts, all 2017, 2018 and 2019 models, plus, in 2021, a recall for another 73,000 Bolts, all 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.
      GM set aside $1.8 BILLION to replace battery modules, or 1.8 BILLION/(68,667 + 73,000) = $12,706/EV.

      Owners were advised not to charge them in a garage, and not to leave them unattended while charging, which may take up to 8 hours; what a nuisance!
      I wonder what could happen during rush hour traffic, or in a parking garage, or at a shopping mall, etc.
      Rep. Briglin heeded the GM recall by not charging in his garage. See URLs

      – Cost of replacing the battery packs of 80,000 Hyundai Konas was estimated at $900 million, about $11,000 per vehicle
      – EV batteries should be charged from 20 to 80%, to achieve minimal degradation and long life, plus the charging loss is minimal in that range
      – Charging EVs from 0 to 20% charge, and from 80 to 100% charge:

      1) Uses more kWh AC from the wall outlet per kWh DC charged into the battery, and
      2) Is detrimental to the battery.
      3) Requires additional kWh for cooling the battery while charging.

      – EV batteries must never be charged, when the battery temperature is less than 32F; if charged anyway, the plating out of Li-ions on the anode would permanently damage the battery.

  6. A brief scan of this bill yields a 50 page potpourri of “fees” and requirements to spend money. The “Gas powered car tax” is but a small part of the whole tens of millions dollars required to be spent by this bill. Employers of over 50 that have parking will be required to provide expensive EV chargers for 6% of the employers parking spaces. A few new “task forces” need to be established, along with an unknown number of state employees added to insure compliance with this bill. From somewhere, there will be subsidy for certain income groups to purchase electric bicycles. Really. And last, but certainly not least (expensive) David Blittersdorf gets his Barre-Montpelier commuter train feasibility study. You may remember that VT AOT pegged the cost just to upgrade the track at 97 million dollars.
    (Vt Daily Chronicle, 1/18/2020)
    All in all, an impressive 50 pages on how best to waste tax dollars- and look good (green) doing it.

    • Frank,

      It will not stop at electric cars. Million-$dollar electric transit buses are next, and school buses.


      China has made electric buses and EVs a priority in urban areas to reduce excessive air pollution, due to: 1) coal-fired power plants, and 2) increased vehicle traffic.

      The US has much less of a pollution problem than China, except in its larger urban areas.
      The US uses much less coal, more domestic natural gas, and CO2-free nuclear is still around.

      New England has a pollution problem in its southern urban areas.
      Vermont has a minor pollution problem in Burlington and a few other urban areas.

      RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan

      It would require:

      – Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio
      – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps
      – Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.
      – Additional centralized, command/control/orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

      1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps, and major appliances
      2) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses

      RE Folks Want More EVs and Buses Bought With “Free” Money

      RE folks drive the energy priorities of New England governments. RE folks want to use about $40 million of “free” federal COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy electric transit and school buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont. RE folks urge Vermonters to buy:

      Mass Transit Buses
      Electric: $750,000 – $1,000,000 each, plus infrastructures, such as indoor parking, high-speed charging systems.
      Standard Diesel: $380,000 – $420,000; indoor parking and charging systems not required.

      School Buses
      Electric: $330,000 – $375,000, plus infrastructures
      Standard Diesel: about $100,000

      This article shows the 2 Proterra transit buses in Burlington, VT, would reduce CO2 at very high cost per metric ton, and the minor annual operating cost reduction would be overwhelmed by the cost of amortizing $million buses that last about 12 to 15 years.

      The $40 million of “free” money would be far better used to build zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses for suffering households; such housing would last at least 50 to 75 years.

      NOTE: Spending huge amounts of borrowed capital on various projects that 1) have very poor financials, and 2) yield minor reductions in CO2 at high cost, is a recipe for:

      1) low economic efficiency, and
      2) low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would

      – adversely affect Vermont and US competitiveness in markets, and
      – adversely affect living standards and 3) inhibit unsubsidized/efficient/profitable job creation.

      • Oh, that’s in there. A majority of new state fleet purchases must be EV.
        The legislature had lots of lobbyists help writing this bill. It reads like a fantasy, but these green goblins will make it an un-achievable reality.

        • FIRE DANGER! German cities start taking electric buses out of service

          Because electric buses catch fire easily, many German cities are taking the expensive electric buses out of service.

          Lower Saxony is right at the forefront when it comes to electric bus transport.

          In June, however, a major fire broke out in a bus depot in Hanover in the Mittelfeld district, in which the fire destroyed nine vehicles belonging to the Üstra transport company.

          Cause: The battery of an electric bus had caught fire.

          The city of Hanover then took the electric fleet out of service for the time being.

          This is not only the case in Hanover, it is more and more common for cities to remove electric vehicles from the timetable.

          The reasons can often be traced back to one common cause: fire protection.

      • Several German cities halt use of e-buses following series of unresolved cases of fire

        Die Welt

        The potential risks of electro-mobility are being closely examined in Germany after a THIRD major fire in a bus depot apparently caused by an electric bus.

        Public transport companies are taking action after the electric bus allegedly triggered a fire in Stuttgart last week, newspaper Die Welt reports.

        The Munich public transport company, MVG, is taking eight similar e-buses out of service until the cause of the fire in Stuttgart has been clarified.

        The fire may have started while the bus was being charged in the depot, according to investigators, who assume that a technical defect may be the cause of the fire.

        The 30 September fire completely destroyed TWENTY-FIVE BUSES in the depot, including two with electric drives, causing damage worth millions of euros.

        The STUTTGART transport company, SSB, has also halted the use of electric buses in the city.

        The incident followed a similar fire in June in a bus depot in HANOVER, which destroyed the hall and nine buses.

        E-buses were then recalled but are expected to resume service in November.

        In April, a fire at the Rheinbahn depot in DUSSELDORF caused damages totalling several million euros. Investigators determined the fire had been triggered by a technical issue but could not clearly identify the cause.

        While the number of electric buses in German public transport doubled last year compared to 2019, a recent survey found that 58 percent of Germans had doubts about the “environmental compatibility” of electric mobility.

    • German Cities Remove E-Buses From Service After Bursting In Flames: “Fire Hazard”

      Electric bus fires in:



      E-buses in Germany a “fire hazard” as batteries can heat up to 1000°C. German cities taking vehicles out of service as a precaution.

      Even after years of fine-tuning, electric vehicle manufacturers still seem unable to get e-vehicle technology to work as safely as it needs to for personal and public transportation.

      German media, for example here, report that currently electric buses are being withdrawn from service in cities because they pose a fire hazard. Earlier in June of this year in HANOVER, Germany, a major fire destroyed nine buses belonging to the Üstra transport company and so the company took the remaining buses out of service until the exact cause is determined.

      “Not just the case in Hanover, it is becoming increasingly common for electric vehicles to be removed from service in cities, and the reasons are often down to a common cause: Fire safety,” reports the online MK.

      STUTTGART withdraw buses from service after fire

      The Stuttgart transport authority also took buses out of service after an electric bus fire destroyed 25 vehicles. The MK also reports that the city of Regensburg also removed the same kind of electric bus from service for fear of fire.

      According to the MK, the problem is the extremes heat generated by the vehicle’s batteries, which can reach temperatures of 1000°C due to “thermal runaway”.

      15-meter safe parking distance

      “In the process, the lithium-ion batteries release energy in an uncontrolled manner,” reports the MK. “For the same reason, electric cars also repeatedly catch fire. The first e-cars are now only allowed to park at a distance of 15 meters because of the risk of fire.”

      Also in China e-buses were recorded bursting into flames as they charged

      Even e-scooters can burst into flames. The following example also shows how difficult it can be to extinguish e-vehicle fires.

      Even e-scooters can burst into flames. The following example also shows how difficult it can be to extinguish e-vehicle fires.

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