Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Gas Guzzler Tax

The gas guzzler tax is something that has always fascinated me. If you go to the page that my article is linked too, you can view a table that shows how the gas guzzler tax changes with reduced fuel economy. Basically, if your vehicle gets 22.5 mpg or more you are not taxed, and the tax increases (at an increasing rate) until the sub-12.5 mpg category, where the tax is $7700. This is a feeble attempt to discourage people from buying fuel inefficient cars.

The problem with the gas guzzler tax lies in the design of the system itself. According to "The purpose of the Gas Guzzler Tax is to discourage the production and purchase of fuel inefficient vehicles." A corrective tax, such as this one, may actually discourage the purchase fuel inefficient vehicles, but only if it is applied in an appropriate manner. If you read the beginning of the description of the tax, it says that it only applies to cars, not trucks. This means that the average SUV and pick-up truck owners pay no gas guzzler tax. This is absurd because, realistically, these make up most of the fuel inefficient vehicles in the country. Most cars that guzzle gas are niche cars, such as sports cars, and ultra luxury cars. People that can afford these kinds of cars aren't really going to care about a gas guzzler tax. After all, if you are buying that $90,000 dodge viper (with a massive V-10), odds are you can afford to fill your gas tank, and pay the guzzler tax.

All in all the gas guzzler tax is a feeble attempt at the government trying to protect the environment. In order for this corrective tax to be effective it would have to apply to the majority of vehicles that actually guzzle gas!

No comments: