The city is poised to require owners of vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds to pay an annual $500 vehicle registration fee], almost seven times the cost to register a modest sedan. No other US jurisdiction has created such a forceful financial disincentive against the biggest, heaviest car models.
“You can’t ban sales of these things,” says Mary Cheh, a D.C. councilmember who developed the new fee structure, “but you can make them pay their own way.”
There are over 400 models of cars for sale in the US. There are around 40 that are over 6,000 pounds.
Roadway engineers have long known that the heavier the car the more wear and tear on the roads, although most of that research has been directed at heavy trucks, not heavy cars. I remember the statistic is that one 18-wheeler is equivalent (in road wear) to 10,000 cars.
Obviously a 6,000 pound car is nowhere near a fully loaded 18 wheeler, but the principal is the same: heavier cars create more need for roadwork than lighter cars. Reasonable principle, but it would be weird to tax each vehicle on a sliding scale “per pound.”
Any pickup truck heavier than following would pay the truck tax in D.C.:
Honda Ridgeline AWD
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500
I think other congested cities should consider this tax: New York, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, …