Survey: Taxing Veggie Oil
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street; If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat. If you get too cold I'll tax the heat; If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet. So said the Beatles and they had a point. Fuel taxes are a big source of revenue and the taxman doesn't like to lose them; John noted this in Illinois; Now the taxman is after biofuel drivers in North Carolina. Inspectors at a speedway were checking RV's for illegal fuel (diesel is really just fuel oil with purple dye added to prove that the road tax has been paid) and noticed the sticker "Powered by 100% vegetable oil." on Bob Teixeira's 1981 Mercedes. They slapped him with a thousand dollar fine, the feds are fining him too, and he needs to spend $2500 to get a permit to keep driving.
A State Senator says "If somebody was going to go to this much trouble to drive around in a car that uses soybean oil, they ought to be exempt from state taxes" but another official differs-"With the high cost of fuel right now, the department does recognize that a lot of people are looking for relief," said Reggie Little, assistant director of the motor fuel taxes division. "We're not here to hurt the small guy, we're just trying to make sure that the playing field is level." ::Charlotte Observer
It is a conundrum; we want to promote alternative fuels, but the taxman has spent years chasing untaxed fuels, is soybean oil any different?