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Is That Ethical?

Both the Washington Post weekly and the Arlington Sun-Gazette carried stories this week noting that some of Arlington’s taxicabs were going “green.” In fact, the story added that EnviroCAB is applying to operate a 35-cab all-hybrid fleet.

The intent, however, is not to growl about taxicabs or hybrids. In his Post story, Jerry Markon has this paragraph:

“”We’re trying to do our part to reduce global warming. Government should lead by example,’ said Arlington County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson (D), who then ended a telephone interview because, he said, he happened to be purchasing a (Toyota) Highlander Hybrid with his family.”

Let me understand this. In April 2007, the Arlington County Board, including Mr. Ferguson, approved a change in the personal property tax that exempted the first $20,000 of assessed value on hybrids from the car tax. For calendar year 2008, that’s an annualized savings of $569. And now Mr. Ferguson's tax bill will be reduced by $569 because of an action he took earlier this year. It’s nice being the king!

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