We purchased our 2007 Toyota Hybrid Camry in March of 2007 and I have previously written about it four times (first, second, third, fourth
postings). I want to re-emphasize what I highlighted in my most recent
post: if you live in Arlington and are shopping for a new car, there are significant tax advantages to buying a hybrid--significant enough to potentially pay for the entire incremental cost.
Back in October we paid our 2008 personal property taxes on our car. In Virginia, as you may know, we have what is called the "car tax." The car tax is a 5% tax on the value of your personal vehicle. Arlington has reduced this tax for owners of hybrid vehicles by exempting the first $20,000 of value from the tax. So for 2008 instead of paying $1068 personal property tax, we paid just $68. That's a lot of savings!
In fact, since we purchased the car, we have saved $3050 in taxes: a federal tax break of $1300 (more information on the federal tax break here), a 2007 Arlington County personal property tax reduction of $750 and this year's $1000 reduction (more on the Arlington tax break here). Wow, that was enough to pretty much pay for our entire summer vacation to Yellowstone this past year: flights, hotels, rental car, food. . . . Or thinking another way, in a couple more years, the tax breaks will have completely paid the extra amount we paid to get the hybrid instead of the regular Camry. All the gas savings are gravy. One caveat, though, the Arlington break is dependent on an annual approval process by the county, so it may go away in the future.
Want to learn more about hybrids? Here are some links:Green Hybrid