Massachusetts Looking At "Hummer Tax" For "Gas-Guzzlers"S

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday he's looking at what's being termed a "Hummer tax" — basically, higher registration fees for larger vehicles and discounts for those that do "less harm" to the environment.

This is the first such fee in the nation on the state level. Here's what the The Boston Globe says Gov. Patrick has to say about his plan:

Patrick said today that his administration is looking at the Registry of Motor Vehicles fee structure to create "differential fees based on the efficiency of the vehicle or the emissions of the vehicle."

"Big gas guzzlers will pay more for their registration," he added. "Plug-in hybrids would pay less and you'd have a range, that kind of thing."

Patrick's office declined to elaborate on the proposal or say whether it would appear as part of his overall transportation plan. RMV spokeswoman Ann Dufresne said state transportation officials have been discussing a gas guzzler fee program, "but I think they're still trying to flesh that out now."

Patrick said today that he was continuing to look at raising the state gas tax, but did not commit to it. When asked about it during the Chamber event, he threw the question back to the audience, asking by a show of hands whether the crowd favored a gas tax increase or a toll hike. The crowd chose the gas tax, which has generally been a more popular proposal in the business community.

We wonder where diesels and hybrid SUVs and pickup trucks will fit into this plan. Maybe we'll call up his press secretary today and ask, but our guess is he may not have thought about that question yet. [Boston.com]