Thursday, February 07, 2008

F*** Car

I had to rent a Flexcar about a month ago for a big, important job interview way the hell down in SeaTac. When the car sharing company billed me for the one day rental, I was charged $20 in tax. Just TAX for one afternoon! For a Toyota Prius that was so quiet I could barely tell when it was on!

After joining Flexcar I started getting cheerful notice-type emails. Recently, they asked me to email the Washington state legislature regarding these ridiculous taxes on Flexcars (now Zipcar). I dutifully wrote one of the legislative reps and then got this long 'flipper flopping' reply. I'm not gonna post all of it, here's a summary:

Thanks for writing to me about Senate Bill 6484, regarding the exemption of Flexcar from rental car taxes. I think Flexcar is a wonderful service that offers an eco-friendly alternative to car ownership ... Although I support this service, and know that it is different than renting a car at a rental car company, legislation that could potentially create a tax loophole in a major revenue source that funds public transportation must be carefully crafted ... Governor Gregoire has come out in support of exempting car-sharing companies (vs. car rental) from rental car taxes...I am very concerned that a significant loophole will be created in a major revenue source ... blah ... blah ... tax loophole ... blah ... loophole ... loophole

-- Sincerely,
Sen. Mary Margaret

There's nothing quite like watching a marginally liberal state legislator dance around the issue of taxes, especially exorbitant ones that don't affect homeowners, rich Humvee owners, rich hot tub owners, rich people, or rich homeowners who generally have the most say in state legislatures because they generate the biggest chunk of revenues.

Alas, I'm not the first or the last yuppie/hipster/urbanite/non-car owner to get stung by this bee. The Seattlest has covered this issue.

Once again Washington state, and ultimately, all of 'Merkica bows to the will of the few, the spoiled, the Escalande-driving ... and runs over a whole bunch of sincere minimalists in the process.

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