Engine size fee is probably a goner

The in basket: John Holbrook included me early this month in forwarding an e-mail to about two dozen people warning of a bill before the Legislature proposing steep additional license tab fees that would be based on the size of a vehicle’s engine. 

The additional fee, the e-mail said, would range from nothing for vehicles with engines of 1.9 liters (115.9 cubic inches) or less to $600 for those 8 liters (488.2 cubic inches) or more.

It was one of those e-mails that hang around in cyberspace and crop up at intervals to alarm the populace. The bill (Senate Bill 6900) actually was before the 2008 Legislature and wasn’t approved. 

I wondered if its sponsors would take another run at it in the 2009 session.

The out basket: Absolutely not, said a staffer for prime sponsor Sen. Rodney Tom from the east side of Lake Washington, letting a letter Tom wrote Dec. 8 serve as elaboration.

The letter says Tom never intended the bill to pass. He said SB 6900’s purpose was “to merely start an important conversation we as a society need to have regarding how we can reduce our adverse environment impacts, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil from an unstable region.

“My frustration stems from the auto companies’ fixation on every car going zero to 60 in under 5 seconds,” he continued. “There are a ton of clean burning diesels in Europe that are getting 50+ MPG. The US auto manufacturers are locked into yesterday’s mentality where they can make $10,000 off every SUV sold.”

The Big Three’s current travails seem not to have modified Tom’s current position.

“All that said,” he concluded, “there was never any intention of actually advancing SB 6900, which has stimulated the kind of important conversation that I had hoped for.”

 

 

2 thoughts on “Engine size fee is probably a goner

  1. Part of the ‘important conversation’ is that basing a tax on engine size alone is ridiculous on its face. A perfect example is the engine size between a Ford Ranger (small-size pickup) and a Chevrolet Duramax (large pickup). the small Ranger gets 20mpg on a 3.1 litre engine. It’s payload is less than 1,000 pounds in a short bed. It’s towing capacity is bumper-based and very low end: A small boat or garden trailer is about it. It can run on Ethanol E85, but that’s not readily available and besides, it’s made from a food crop: corn.

    Compare to the Duramax, a whopping 6.6 litre engine, 360hp and 650 pounds of torque. It’s truck payload is above 2000 pounds, and it can tow a 15,000 pound trailer in addition. It’s a work horse truck, the kind you want for any serious hauling.

    Its MPG? 20, same as the Ranger. It uses diesel fuel instead of gasoline and can run on nearly any oil, from soybean to palm oil.

    So what’s the desl with engine size being related to fuel use again? Any tax designed to regulate fuel usage ought to be based on use, not engine size. If I use more gas, it costs me more. And isn’t it ironic that this social engineering by government always resuts in more revenue for government? How convenient.

  2. “… Tom never intended the bill to pass. He said SB 6900’s purpose was “to merely start an important conversation we as a society need to have regarding how we can reduce our adverse environment impacts, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil from an unstable region.”

    How many other useless and unintended bills are brought forth to manipulate the public and waste government time and taxpayer money?

    We know of this wasted bill…hundreds more may be floating out there.
    The PUBLIC will and should dictate what sells and what doesn’t. The car manufacturers will cease making what doesn’t sell … maybe not.

    MOST business is alert to the buying public and will stock what moves.
    Sharon O’Hara

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