Transportation bill punishes low mpg with ‘feebates’

Wikimedia Commons/Royalbroil

‘Pleasure car’ is the State of Vermont term for the single-passenger car you drive to and from work. Feebates are the opposite of rebates — they take from the gas guzzlers and refund money to the fuel-efficient drivers.

By Guy Page

H.552 is a 50-page low-carbon transportation funding and regulatory wish list sponsored by 61 lawmakers, including five members of the House Transportation Committee. To reduce transportation carbon emissions, it would:

  • Fund zero-fare public transit in fiscal year 2023. Free bus fares began during 2020, supposedly as a pandemic response for financially-strapped Vermonters.
  • Require employers who provide employee parking to have Level 2 charging stations for six percent of parking spaces. Grant funding would be available.
  • Require some employers to have plans to reduce carbon emissions of commuting drivers.
  • Provide grant funding for non-profit housing to install level 2 charging stations. 
  • Prohibit bicyclists from riding abreast in most instances (part of a bike safety measure)
  • Require the State update prior commuter rail feasibility studies
  • Charge a feebate to gas guzzlers and pass along the proceeds to fuel-efficient drivers. Or in H552’s words, it would “implement a self-funded feebate program based on pleasure car efficiency.”

The schedule of rebates and feebates would be set and overseen by a newly-created Efficiency Fees and Rebates Task Force. The seven-member appointed board would make recommendations “consistent with the Climate Action Plan.”

For example, light trucks of 16 mpg or less would pay a $500 “efficiency fee” or feebate. Light trucks of 26 mpg or better would receive a $950 rebate. Passenger vehicles and SUVs would have similar incentives.

Provide funding for a lengthy list of programs, including support for emissions repair, electric bikes, and zero-carbon schoolbuses and public transit buses.

‘Pleasure car’ is the State of Vermont term for the single-passenger car you drive to and from work. Feebates are the opposite of rebates — they take from the gas guzzlers and refund money to the fuel-efficient drivers.

“Feebate systems are one of the best available policy options to reduce passenger car emissions,” the International Council on Clean Transportation says. “Feebate systems impose a fee on vehicles with high CO2 emissions or fuel consumption (i.e., low fuel economy) and provide a rebate to vehicles with low CO2 emissions or fuel consumption (i.e., high fuel economy).”

The five Transportation Committee co-sponsors are Reps. John Bartholomew, Mollie Burke, Curtis McCormack, Gabrielle Stebbins, and Rebecca White. No Republicans signed on as co-sponsors.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Royalbroil

8 thoughts on “Transportation bill punishes low mpg with ‘feebates’

  1. And the flip side of all this virtue signaling is that Vermont is a tourist destination. Let’s see, how will we tax those gas guzzlers coming to Vermont for our 4 season recreation? The people that work here and pay the bills will be punished financially as the hoards of vehicles from all over New England and beyond come here to hunt, ski, hike, use our lakes, fish, camp in motor homes and enjoy the great out of doors. The brain trust under the golden doom just continues to demonstrate just how much they should be thrown out of office for the total incompetency of their actions toward the people of this state who make it work while these nincompoops continue to wreck it!

  2. Everyday we read of the state imposing more costly programs/controls for the low wage earners to pay for while claiming to so concerned about the lower income VT. These phony appointed groups have a lot of sway in VT and we have zero control over their actions/demands.

  3. Again the leftist commies ruining the state hit the citizens with a feelz good tax on everything
    coming into the state… Trucks get the lowest mileage and bring everything we buy into
    the state. So to fix the fake problem that can’t be resolved by the cleanest state in the union
    they will punish your pocketbook once again.. As another great article here said the
    warmongers goals could be achieved by planting more trees (instead of solar panels)
    It seems the favorite pass time of the Demunists is to flush your hard earned money down the leftist toilet…

    • No! They don’t want flush the money down the toilet. They want to give it to the renewable energy industry. From which they will get a kickback and continued Congressional positions.

  4. Our representatives and politicians in general live in a fantasy land. I stop close my eyes and try to imagine a world that they have created in the year 2030. When I open my eyes I feel horrible for the young citizens of this once great state.

  5. Well that is about the most regressive tax scheme I have ever seen. Take money from hard working, low income Vermonters who need their car to get to work and give it to wealthy yuppies who can afford newer and more expensive cars. Brilliant! Robin Hood in reverse! This penalizes those who can least afford it all in the name of climate change. Yet you can be sure that the state will continue to encourage tourists to drive to Vermont so it can reap those all important tax dollars. Pure garbage. Keep voting for Democrats idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dave I was almost going to say the same thing. The hard-working class might just as well take their paychecks and sign it over to the friggin rich socialist legislators. Remember Zuckerman that stole money from the state and laughed about it. Charging the state for food, gas, and lodging that he didn’t even pay for. he stayed at his mother’s place. Not an honest person is he… he needs to go back to Boston Ma He still has a lot of influence in the legislation
      H.552 called ” the feebate is really H.552 the “steal from the middle and low-class bill” These leftist democRATS are only looking for ways to fund their own projects off our working backs.

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