Here I am again. I was under the weather the last couple of days. I didn’t feel up to posting or anything else. I stayed in bed. We finally straightened out the license plate drama for our new car. We had to go to the local DMV and have them untangle the mess. We left with a new temporary license to use until the state sends permanent plates. We also got to keep the plates the dealer got. I have no idea what good they are, but the lady at the counter said we could use them if we get another car. Ugggg! I don’t want another car.

Sex has been off the table. I feel frisky again, which means whatever had me in its grip has let go. I’m also still pretty tired, so I may need a little more time to recover fully. Mrs. Lion is feeling a little put upon too. Work is challenging for her, and I needed her help with my still-busted scanner. On top of all that, we had to go to the Department of Licensing to get the proper plates for our new car. What a difference from the New York DMV! The people in the office were patient and very helpful.

Washington has very strange auto registration rules. The car dealer got plates for the new car. We paid over $200 for them. Believe it or not, that’s cheap. If we lived in the Seattle RTA district, it would have been over $500. Anyway, we brought the unused plates and registration with us. The people in the DOL office set up our new plates, which will be mailed to us. They printed out a temporary registration to use in the meantime.

So far, that was what I expected. They returned the plates the dealer gave us and said that we could use them if we wanted on another car. We said that we don’t have another car. No matter, they’re ours. We did have to pay the registration fee again. It was a bit cheaper, just $120. We went home with the plates and registration we came in with. I guess we’ll toss them. They’re no use to us. I would think that the state would want tighter control over license plates.

use less, pay more

Washington has another rather odd law. I’m sure you know that our state has a reputation for being full of hippies. It is a blue state, after all. We love it! Anyway, there is no state income tax here, so revenues have to come from sales tax, property tax, and of course, the gas tax. Here’s where there is a real clash of values. Our legislature reasoned that electric cars wouldn’t pay any gas tax and hybrids, like ours, would get substantially better mileage and also wouldn’t pay as much tax. Our gasoline tax is very high. It has to be.

When the geniuses in the state capital thought about this problem, their solution was simple and insane. They tacked on an extra $75 a year for hybrids and $150 for electric cars. Problem solved. But wait. Isn’t our tree-hugging state supposed to encourage a reduction in greenhouse gasses? Hybrids and electric cars pollute a lot less. Wouldn’t you think that the Evergreen State should encourage its citizens to drive fuel-efficient vehicles?

Nope. Fuel efficiency reduces tax revenue. Hybrids and electric cars would be using the roads without paying their fair share of the taxes needed for upkeep. There’s something to be said for that argument. If we figure that the current tax-per-gallon is 49 cents, the $75 fee that I pay covers 150 gallons of the gas tax. Will I use 150 gallons less than I would in the gas-burner version of my car? I suppose if I drive enough in a year, I would.

My point isn’t that the state needs to recover the tax revenue I don’t pay because I’m protecting the environment. I understand that it does. But at the same time, shouldn’t it incentivize people to buy electric and hybrid vehicles? They are more expensive than gas burners. Until this year, if you bought an electrified car, you could get up to $7,500 off your taxes. The law changed this year. You can only get that money if your car was assembled in the good old USA. Well, that let us out. Tree-huggers don’t get a break anymore.

I suppose you could say that people like us who buy hybrids and electric cars anyway are philanthropists. We spend the extra money and pay extra taxes for the privilege of pumping less carbon into the atmosphere. There is a possibility our philanthropy will actually pay off. There’s talk that our state may be adding an additional thirty cents a gallon of new taxes to help cover the carbon emitted. If that happens, our extra $75 registration fee will be a real bargain.

Listen to this post.