No Make a Sense

Here‘s an article from the Salt Lake Tribune, explaining how “clean-fuel” vehicles (propane, natural gas, etc) don’t pay any fuel taxes whatsoever, and how the legislature is considering ways to collect that tax money. That sounds fair to me, because if they’re using the roads, they should help pay for them, though I don’t think the tax amount should be quite as much as for gasoline. What really gets me, though, is the last paragraph in the article. It states that the law could be interpreted so that hybrid (gasoline-electric) vehicle owners could be required to pay extra, above what they already pay in gasoline taxes.
Now, a hybrid vehicle is simply a very fuel-efficient vehicle, nothing more. It doesn’t use some alternative energy source–the electrical part is powered by the gasoline engine. How the state legislature thinks they can tax these vehicles more heavily than regular gas-powered vehicles is beyond me. It’s as though they’re encouraging fuel consumption–if your vehicle gets poor gas mileage, you pay less taxes than those with great fuel efficiency.
The new Civic Hybrid (w/ manual trans.) gets 51 MPG highway, while the VW Beetle TDI (diesel w/ manual trans.) gets 49 MPG highway without being a hybrid vehicle. Why punish one and not the other?

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