Vt. politicians itchy to tax gas guzzlers

The Vermont State House Transportation Committee passed a committee bill which contains a proposed surcharge on fuel inefficient vehicles (H.540). The surcharge is $150 on all passenger cars that get 20 or fewer miles per gallon as calculated by combined highway and city driving, and $150 on all trucks weighing more than 6,000 pounds and up to 10,099 pounds that get 17 or fewer miles per gallon. In addition, this legislation creates a tax incentive for all vehicles which get 30 or more miles per gallon. Vehicles meeting this standard will only be taxed at a rate 5 percent instead of the typical 6 percent sales tax, with the savings capped at $1,680. This legislation is currently in State House Ways and Means Committee, and testimony will be taken next week, beginning last Tuesday and potentially continuing into Wednesday. While this issue does not seem to be a priority in the Senate, House leadership has indicated it is indeed a legislative priority for them; therefore it is likely to move from the House shortly. Residents interested in testifying on this issue before the House Ways and Means Committee may contact Michael Belyea at (802) 229-2293, or mbelyea@vtchamber.com.

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