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The Virginia House has desperately been trying to find a solution to the high tax placed on gas in the state, and for some the answer is to punish those who consume less gas than other residents. The debate has boiled down to two sides: eliminate the 17.5 cents-per-gallon tax and just raise the statewide or a 5.5 percent sales tax on the wholesale price of gasoline. The first proposal, backed by Governor McDonnell , also proposed a $100 fee placed on electric vehicles, in a bizarre twist. If McDonnell has his way, who knows what that will do to energy efficient car sales at Virginia car dealerships.

A Transportation Crisis

The simple fact is, Virginia needs transportation funding, and they need it now. With the growing popularity of consumers getting cars that use less gas, the gas tax in the state has been less lucrative, according to WAMU. Further, even though less than 1 percent of all vehicles on the road are electric, the Governor saw this as an opportunity to make up for some of the funds they are losing.

The Governor is not wrong in believing that more people are getting gas efficient vehicles and therefore using less fuel, according to TIME Magazine, fuel efficiency in cars rose six percent in 2012. As more and more people invest in electric or hybrid cars, and as regular gas-powered vehicles improve their gas mileage, states across the country are going to find themselves in the same situation as Virginia—in need of money to fund their department of transportation.

Tax ‘Em Where It Hurts

The Governor’s proposal to eliminate the gas tax altogether isn’t out of care for rising gas prices—the concern is not for your wallet at the pump. The TIME Magazine report explains that this removal of the 17.5 percent gas tax is a ploy to raise another area of taxes that are paid by everyone. Not everyone is filling up and paying their part at the pump, but if there was a bump in statewide taxes, something that is not going to go away with new technology like gas, the state can count on that money and pull themselves out of the financial hole they are in.

Virginia Will Make You Pay For That Hybrid

For Nissan dealerships in Virginia, and other dealerships that sell hybrid or electric cars, the outcome of the gas debate could have a major impact on their sales. If the $100 registration fee is placed on fuel-efficient cars, will less Virginians be interested in purchasing them? We will have to wait and see.

Jason Sherman is a self-proclaimed car buff that enjoys writing about the latest trends in the auto industry.