Sometimes you get what you pay for.  And sometimes, cause and effect aren't what they really seem to be.

Automobiles need roads to drive on.  Roads cost money.  In the past, state governments have raised money for these roadways via gasoline tax money.

We live in an era when environmentalists are pushing the so-called benefits of hybrid vehicles.  These cars usually used alternative fuels to drive their engines.  The expected net result is that a consumer would either fill up less at the pump - or - avoid the gas pump all together.  All of the equals less money in the coffers for state highways departments to build and maintain the very roads that these cars and trucks are driving on.

The State of Virginia is the first in an expected line of government agencies to propose taxing these hybrid vehicles.

On Thursday, a Senate committee reviewed the $3.1 billion transportation package that would eliminate the state's gas tax and impose the $100 fee.

[Virginia Governor Bob] McDonnell called the fee on alternative fuel vehicles a substitute for losses in the federal gas tax when he appeared on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" show this week.

"It's meant to compensate for the federal gas tax that those vehicles do not pay," he said.

Opponents to the proposal say that we shouldn't be penalizing people for wanting to help the environment.  However, officials with the state wonder where the highway-budget-shortfall would come from.


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