Unfair vehicle tax
Marilou Johanek raises some good points in her commentary (“Shame on you, Mike DeWine”, March 11), but fails to address the issue of road-use taxes on electric vehicles (EVs). EVs fall into two categories: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) that get anywhere from 60 to 300-plus miles on a single charge, and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) that get 20 to 50 miles from the battery pack before the internal combustion engine (ICE) kicks in. Even while running off the battery, PHEVs periodically rely on the ICE while accelerating and climbing the ubiquitous hills here in Summit County. Both types of electric vehicles are already levied a tax on the use of electricity to charge their batteries.
The recently passed Ohio House transportation bill calls for a 10.7 cents per-gallon gas tax increase over two years and an annual registration fee of $200 on BEVs and $100 on PHEVs which would be payable up front, in one lump sum. The initial proposal was for an 18-cent increase in the gas tax, and the above-mentioned fees on electric vehicles, but the House nearly halved the proposed increase in gas tax while maintaining the ridiculously high EV registration fees.
EV drivers are not against road fees, and we are willing to pay our fair share for usage of the roads, but we believe the registration fees in the transportation bill are capricious and draconian and unfairly target fuel-efficient vehicles. It has been shown that EV owners drive less, and more conservatively, than the average driver. Clean Fuels Ohio proposes a fair, proportional "EV Sticker Fee" of $50 for BEVs and $25 for PHEVs, imposed as part of the annual vehicle registration.
David A. Moudry, Fairlawn
No shame in game
In the Feb. 16 letter “Toast to 1 percenters,” the writer expresses pride that America has so many billionaires and millionaires. I feel compelled to share an emotion not often referred to: shame.
Is it right to be proud of a society that has so many billionaires when one in five children will go hungry this year and where the leading cause of personal bankruptcy is an uncovered medical event?
In a country where capitalism has become religion, it is downright pious to revere wealth and canonize the wealthy. Those who say otherwise will be damned by those who have more “In God we trust” than any earthly concern for their fellow citizens. I would like say to all you aspiring billionaires, if I don’t see you in heaven, I will certainly see you down at the yacht club.
Rob Gatian, Canal Fulton
At 18, you decide
I agree with the decision of the Stow City Council to reject raising the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21. It's not that smoking is a good thing. I started at 20, and at 70 years old, I pay for a 24-year smoking career. Even though I quit at 44, I pay the costs with emphysema and COPD.
If an 18-year-old is an adult by law, you can no more tell him he can't buy tobacco products than you can tell someone 50, 60 or 70 years old. The idea of such a law seems to be that there is such a thing as adulthood with "training wheels," or a sort of conditional adulthood where you can do A or B but not C.
Eighteen-year-olds long have been adults, and few would support changing that. With the rights and privileges of adulthood comes the responsibility to know the possible consequences of our decisions. As for smoking, the information is out there. So we have to trust our younger adults to make the best decisions, and if need be, to help them reverse a bad decision such as smoking.
Keary W. Crim, Cuyahoga Falls