RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The new chairman of the House Transportation Committee said he'll seek to repeal the annual tax on hybrid vehicles included in the 2013 transportation package.
Del. Tom Rust, a Herndon Republican, said in a statement the General Assembly should repeal the "unfair and punitive" tax on hybrid vehicles, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Wednesday
Hybrid owners protested the $64 annual fee. They argued it was an unfair tax on their environmentally friendly vehicles. The fee was eventually reduced from the original $100 proposed in early drafts of the transportation funding plan.
Rust said electric vehicles do not use gas, so revenues from taxes on the fuel don't join the revenue stream for road construction and maintenance. The fee was a way for those drivers to pay a share of the road costs.
"Hybrid drivers pay gas taxes," he noted.
"They have to fill up their car at the gas station just like others on the roads," he said. "It is unfair to treat them the same as someone who doesn't pay any gas tax. We should be encouraging people to purchase and drive hybrids -- not punishing them.''
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this Associated Press story incorrectly identified Del. Tom Rust at as Democrat.