Virginia Del. Scott Surovell (D-44th) and Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th) launched an online petition Sunday urging Gov. Bob McDonnell to repeal the $100 annual fee on hybrid vehicles out of House Bill 2313.
More than 500 people have signed the petition within the first 24 hours of its launch.
“The idea that we would tax people for being environmentally friendly is ridiculous. We should be encouraging green behavior like this, not attacking it. We may as well start taxing people for having solar panels and recycling while we’re at it," Surovell said in a statement.
Ebbin said during a floor speech on Saturday, "If we’re truly working toward energy independence, why are we going to penalize investors in clean energy cars? Under this plan, they’ll pay a $100 penalty as hybrid owners. The Prius driver will pay more in taxes than the average sedan owner."
Hybrid vehicles currently make up only 1.3 percent of Virginia's vehicle fleet. With Virginia gas taxes being reduced to approximately $0.10-0.12/gallon, the typical hybrid owner will avoid less than $40 per year in gas taxes yet be required to pay an extra $100 per year to the Commonwealth, according to a press release issued by Surovell. Northern Virginia has the highest hybrid ownership percentages in Virginia and in the entire United States.
"This leaves Northern Virginians feeling even more singled out,” Surovell said. Surovell and Ebbin both voted against the transportation bill, which diverts money from education and public safety in addition to the fee on hybrid vehicles.