Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Something that won't happen any time soon in the DC area: a green tax on cars

Image: car sales in the U.S. From the Washington Post, using data provided by Autodata.

In Europe, one of the ways that car use is discouraged is by charging tack on fees that help to capture some of the externality costs that are produced by automobiles but not otherwise captured in fees. Actually, the hated personal property tax on cars in Virginia is a form of this, although undoubtedly the tax revenues weren't directed towards transportation related projects.

I think the fee in the Netherlands is something like 20% of the sticker price of the vehicle.

Today's Post has an article, "SUVs lead U.S. auto sales growth despite efforts to improve fuel efficiency," about how despite a seeming focus on fuel efficiency, it is the larger cars and trucks that are selling, consideration of a green tax on automobile purchases is definitely in order, even though it is politically unlikely.

It's interesting that a couple days before, the Post ran a story, "China to raise sales tax on small cars Jan. 1" about how the government is instituting a variety of measures to reduce car sales and overwhelming automobile congestion in Beijing. From the article:

Exactly how China handles its rapidly growing demand for automobiles and the pollution they cause is of keen interest to environmentalists and automakers across the globe.

Last year, for the first time, there were more cars sold in China than in the United States, and the magnitude of the nation's demand has made it a key point of reference in discussions of greenhouse gas emissions and world economics. ...

Combined, the end of the sales tax break and the Beijing limit on autos are expected to put downward pressure on sales in China. But automakers said they expect that the market will nonetheless continue to surge in the rapidly growing country. ...

Last year, China cut in half the sales tax rate on vehicles with engines of 1.6 liters or less. The measure was viewed as a means of stimulating the economy and encouraging smaller, more fuel-efficient engines. But China will restore the sales tax on small cars to the full 10 percent beginning with the new year, the Ministry of Finance said Tuesday.

The limit on new cars in Beijing arises from a new traffic plan for the city. The plan involves miles of new underground highways, higher inner-city parking fees, a new bicycle-sharing plan, and, as its most controversial element, a limit of 240,000 license plates next year for the car-congested capital, or about a third of the new vehicles registered for 2010.

Beijing authorities defended their plan, saying Shanghai and Hong Kong have even stricter controls on the number of new vehicles allowed to be registered each year. Shanghai allows 10,000 and Hong Kong 1,000, Li Xiaosong, vice director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, said on the radio.

Meanwhile, "Ex-Shell president sees $5 gas in 2012" according to CNN.

Also see "A Green Detroit? No, a Guzzling One" from the New York Times.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home