A while ago we bashed a new Washington State policy to apply car-rental taxes to car-share vehicles. We said it was “like taxing penicillin during an epidemic” because car-sharing benefits everyone, not just those who car-share (fewer cars, fewer collisions, less congestion, etc.)
And that’s why everyone should be paying attention to the latest on this issue. A bill exempting car-sharing companies from car-rental taxes is before the Washington State legislature, and the House Finance Committee just heard testimony.
The Seattle Times summed up the rationale for the exemption.
Car-sharing firms and car-rental companies are very different. Zipcar members usually are residents already paying local taxes and who rent vehicles for a matter of hours. Rental-car customers tend to be out-of-towners who rent for days. . . .
Car-sharing helps people live without cars by providing them access to one when they need it. That means fewer cars and less carbon emission.
The state has set an ambitious goal of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Why would we tax one of the most cost-effective methods of working towards that goal?