4/17 Letters: The proposed electric vehicle tax doesn’t make much sense.

A bill in the General assembly proposes an annual fee for electric vehicles.
A bill in the General assembly proposes an annual fee for electric vehicles. Bay Area News Group

Unplug the EV tax

The April 10 article, “Hybrid owners would pay new annual fee,” describes SB 446, a counterproductive scheme to tax hybrid and electric vehicle owners to raise money for road maintenance. There are many problems with the bill: first, owners of traditional cars would pay no such flat tax, but rather pay based on how much gas they consume. An electric owner driving 5,000 miles a year would pay four times the tax that a traditional car owner would. Secondly, hybrids and electrics achieve much of their efficiency by being made smaller and lighter than traditional cars, which means these cars place less strain on the roads. Lastly, why create a disincentive to purchase a type of car that has less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional cars?

It’s absolutely reasonable to expect all drivers on the road system to contribute to its upkeep. How about, rather than taxing at the gas pump, we just tax the miles driven per year and the weight of the car? A flat tax on the vehicles of the future is not the way.

Nate Guerin


Inflammatory language

Why is it that the Republicans use inflammatory language when speaking about their opposition’s positions (“NC’s planned May 1 teacher protest draws debate,” April 13)? It seems that Senator Berger, Civitas, President Trump and other prominent Republicans are trying to confuse voters when they call the opposition socialists. It makes me wonder if these wealthy politicians are afraid to discuss their positions in a rational manner. Has their election to these positions inflated their egos so much they no longer identify with the average taxpayer?

It seems to me that these politicians use inflammatory language because they are afraid that speaking otherwise would reveal that their policies are detrimental to most taxpayers. It is time for the media to stop quoting these politicians when they make unsubstantiated and/or erroneous statements such as “far-left teachers strike organizers,” which as far as I can determine don’t exist. The teacher organizers are everyday taxpayers, and no one has called for a strike. It is unfortunate that Berger cannot carry on a public discussion with the opposition in a manner that encourages discussion and resolves problems to the benefit of all North Carolinians.

Richard Usanis


Best of Enemies

Congrats to The News and Observer for exemplary coverage of the movie Best of Enemies, which vividly depicts the difficulty of achieving community in the face of long-held cultural beliefs and prejudicial behavior. Too often, we fail to realize our problems are similar. This movie gives me hope for our divided nation today.

The Best of Enemies reminds me of the court-ordered integration of junior and senior high schools in Durham County Schools for 1969, with 14 elementary schools for Fall 1970.

I was teaching at Southern High School. Principal Sidney Ray, described by School Board Chair Patricia Neal as “one of the most sensitive and compassionate people” she knew, realized the Confederate soldier as the mascot must go. Undaunted by the anger of white supremacists, he asked students to suggest a new mascot. Students voted for a Spartan.

In early December 1969, the courts unexpectedly ordered elementary schools to be integrated upon reopening on January 3, 1970. Working day and night to draw school boundaries, shift materials, and reassign staff, the board met the deadline. My son transferred from Bethesda to Lowe’s Grove Elementary without hardship, evidence again of the value of community.

Charlotte M Speltz


Redraw our districts

As a matter of equity and good government, we must change how districts are drawn. For many years, proposals for appointing an independent commission to tackle this difficult task has been put forward.

Instead the political party in power has always rejected this nonpartisan approach. Previously, Republicans under then-Rep. Skip Stam proposed this change, until his political party won a supermajority.

I reject the argument that the courts should stay out of finding a remedy to our extremely gerrymandered districts. The process of preserving power for those drawing our districts has become self-perpetuating and robs voters of fair representation.

The Supreme Court has the chance to address this problem. If they do not, the NC GOP leaders must. Or they should get repaid at the ballot box by losing their majority of the seats in state’s congressional delegation and the General Assembly.

Martha Brock


Financial literacy

I want Raleigh social studies teachers that have doubts about teaching financial literacy to join me when I speak at Durham schools about personal finance. Most juniors and seniors do not know what a W-2 form is, that a student loan has to be paid back or that paying $29.50 on a card balance of $2950.00 is so wrong.

They need to learn about a Roth IRAs, where $1000.00 will grow and grow and be there when they will need it most, about 401s and 403s that will be offered to them when they start working in the real world. Nothing is free.

Let’s support that SB134. It might be too late for this generation, but let’s not fail the next one.

Juanita Fontaine