February 25, 2013

I always knew that Virginia was a backwards state. The new fees included in the transportation measures that passed the General Assembly last weekend [“Road, rail bill clears Va. Senate,” news, Feb. 24] simply prove the point again.

Reducing the tax on gasoline at the pump and increasing the sales tax on clothes and such place an extra burden on those who may not drive much and make it easier on those who use the roads. If anything, gas taxes should go up to finance roads and transportation. Charge more to those who use the roads and, especially, to those vehicles that get poor mileage and thus contribute more to global warming.

Additionally, the extra fee on hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles makes about as much sense as increasing the price of health insurance for those who do not smoke. I bought a Toyota Prius to reduce my carbon footprint because of our global warming issues. Now all of us who took this step are going to pay $100 to the state? We should be getting a tax break.

I suppose I should take advantage of the benefits that the governor seems to be pushing, and buy an SUV or truck.

Wayne Wolfersberger, Fairfax

In his Feb. 23 letter, “Penalizing the wrong drivers,” Ronald Baker wondered, “What were these lawmakers thinking?”

If a gasoline-powered car averages 20 miles per gallon and goes 12,000 miles in a year, the owner will have paid $105 in Virginia gas taxes for construction and maintenance of roads. Why, then, would the owner of an alternative-fuel vehicle feel “penalized” if he or she is asked to pay $100 toward construction and maintenance of those same roads? Maybe lawmakers were thinking about fairness.

Wayne Thomson, Gainesville