Car Tax Phase-Out Passed

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

The House of Delegates easily passed a measure that would complete the car tax phase out by 2012. It may have some trouble passing in the Senate, though, because as with most tax breaks, there are some drawbacks.

"I paid $1,200 this year on one vehicle," said one man.

"I pay $120 every year for my car. It's ridiculous," said another woman.

If you own a car, then your wallet knows all about it. The car tax. Back in 1997, Jim Glimore won the governor's seat with a promise to roll back the car tax. But in 2002, the state fell upon hard times economically and the phase-out was frozen.

But now with a budget surplus, some lawmakers want to finish what it started and give that wallet a break.They think, along with car dealers that this is a great way to boost the economy.

"The reduction of the cost would increase car sales and we know how important the automobile industry is to the economy," said Carter Myers from Colonial Auto Center. "And cars are necessities you have to have a car to have a job today."

Some drivers think they pay too much in other taxes as it is.

"I already have to pay so much anyways on a county sticker, then you have to pay to get your car inspected and then you have to pay for your tags," said car tax payer Suzette Varney. "It’s not necessary."

It all sounds good, but there are some drawbacks. With the rollback comes state promise that they'll reimburse localities with the missing revenue from the car tax. Democrats think this makes the state vulnerable for the next economic shortfall and localities think this makes them a slave to the state.

"This would make us totally dependent on the state for a very important revenue for the county," said community relations manager Lee Catlin.

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