Autos Feed

The Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal has brought new attention to alternative fuel vehicles. Conservationists love the vehicles. So do automakers, who have embraced new technologies as a way to expand their markets. And governments, both at the federal and many state levels, have supported alternative fuel automotive options through tax breaks. The most popular tax break was the federal tax credit for hybrid vehicles. Now the energy saving fuel du jour is electricity. My concern about buying an electric car is finding a recharging station. That's not a problem for the owners of these electric cars charging along an Ontario,... Read more →


Georgia's fuel taxes went up in July. The transportation bill that created the new tax also continued the cities' or counties' authority to impose their own 1 percent sales tax at the pump. That new tax money now has sparked a lawsuit. The Georgia Motor Trucking Association, F&W Transportation and Prolan Logistics aren't challenging the actual taxes. Rather, the suit that was filed on behalf of the trucking industry contends that the transportation tax money isn't being legally spent. Georgia truckers want transportation tax money to be used only for road projects. Photo courtesy Wikimedia. The class action lawsuit argues... Read more →


Labor Day weekend means one thing for NASCAR fans: The Southern 500 from Darlington, South Carolina. The race at the Track Too Tough to Tame was a tradition ... until 2004 when the NASCAR fools in charge powers that be decided to move the early September race to other spots in the schedule. But this year the race is back where and when it belongs, underscoring not only the sport's roots, but America's enduring love affair with cars. Kansas car lover's tough tax choice: Dorce Stapleton knows a thing or two about what a car can mean. The 78-year-old Hutchinson,... Read more →


As the hubby and I cruised around a parking lot this week looking for a relatively close-in place to park, we quietly cursed the huge RV that had taken up half a dozen prime spots. We also marveled at the fact someone was tooling around in the personal bus. Even with gas prices at relatively reasonable rates, it's got to cost an arm and a leg to fill up a recreational vehicle. But the fuel factor apparently isn't a problem for a lot of folks. Refurbished RVs are making a comeback. The ubiquitous Winnebago Industries' first motor home model. This... Read more →


The federal fund that supplies money to build and repair road and other U.S. infrastructure runs out of money on July 31. With that deadline fast approaching, the House on Wednesday, July 15, approved a bill that would provide money for the Highway Trust Fund through Dec. 18. The Senate, however, is less interested in a short-term fix and that chamber could put the brakes on the House plan. Senate leaders are looking instead at a funding solution that would get transportation issues out of the way through 2016. Yes, fellow cynics can join me in noting that the Senate's... Read more →


Are you hitting the road this long Independence Day weekend? You are not alone. AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, with more than 80 percent of them traveling by auto. That's the highest level of Fourth of July road trippers since 2007. The number of drivers this holiday weekend also is nearly 14 percent more than those who took auto trips over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The increase in July 4th motorists also is good news for gasoline producers, as well as the treasuries in... Read more →


More than 37 million Americans are expected to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer and its associated vacation travel. AAA says the number of people taking a trip this long holiday weekend is expected to be the most for the holiday since 2005. The bulk of them, around 33 million, will be hitting U.S. highways. And while pump prices have surged in advance of the holiday -- the national average price of $2.71 for a gallon of unleaded gas is a nickel more than last week -- AAA says that price still is the... Read more →


The only certainties in life, to paraphrase a Founding Father, are death, taxes and the last-minute way Congress does, or doesn't do, its job. The Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of financial fuel at the end of May. Congress is scheduled to be on its annual Memorial Day holiday break when that deadline arrives. So lawmakers are crashing to get some roadway deal done. And, true to form, it's not a long-term or permanent fix, it's a short-term, kick the can down the road extension. The House on Tuesday, May 19, voted 387-to-35 to extend federal funding... Read more →


Here in Texas, especially the western part of the state where I grew up and communities are many miles apart, you get used to driving. So when roads start deteriorating, motorists tend to get irritated. The rage over road conditions hit a new high when some of Texas' paved roads were left to return to gravel before the citizenry voted last November to direct some of the state's reserve "rainy day" money to transportation projects. On a more local level, counties and cities still appropriate some funds for relatively rocky roads. My particular subdivision street, for example, is one of... Read more →


This is it. The end of the 2014 tax year. One business day left to make moves that could lower your tax bill. Since December is traditionally the month for giving, I've focused a lot on tax-related charitable donations this month. Far be it from me to break a streak at this late date. The final Weekly Tax Tip of 2014 looks at uncommon charitable gifts, such as miles driven to help your favorite nonprofit, gifting certain appreciated assets and even sending Uncle Sam a few dollars to pay down the federal debt. The many pluses of donating a vehicle:... Read more →


Not surprisingly, voters have rejected a proposed tax hike. The loser this time is the ballot question in today's Missouri primary that would have increased the state's 4.225 percent sales tax to pay for transportation projects. Click image for more Aug. 5 Missouri primary election results. Election results reported by the St. Louis Fox affiliate show that voters handily rejected the three-quarters of one percent increase. The tax would have expired in 10 years. Now Missouri lawmakers must map out another route to pay for road work. You also might find these items of interest: When did your state adopt... Read more →


Before members of Congress left D.C. for their annual August vacation district work periods, they did pass a short-term funding measure for the Highway Trust Fund. That fund provides states with around a quarter of the money they need for road and other transit projects within their borders. But given the continual fight over taxes in Washington, D.C. -- and that's a concern when it comes to highway money since the trust funds relies on what some say is a too-low 18.4 cents per gallon gasoline excise tax -- more states are shifting into a higher transportation tax gear. An... Read more →


Your highway tax dollars are back at work, at least through May 2015. The Senate approved a stopgap $11 billion transportation bill last night after that chamber decided not to fight with the House on the eve of Congress' annual summer break. The measure refills the Highway Trust Fund. That will keep around 6,000 state road and transit projects on track through next spring. Fight over fund's amount, timing: Transportation officials have been warning that the trust fund would be bankrupt any day now, so action before the recess was crucial. Just how much money for how long was at... Read more →


The Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill to refill the funding tank that fuels the nation's highway and mass-transit projects. The Highway Trust Fund essentially covers all federal highway and bridge projects. U.S. Transportation Department officials have been warning for months that the fund will run dry, possibly as soon as August. Emergency refill courtesy Fernando Rivadavia via POSTCARD from Mexico N°14 If that happens, warns the White House, 700,000 jobs could be lost and 100,000 active infrastructure projects already underway across the country could slow or stop altogether. Fearing the worst, which isn't a bad... Read more →


July 1 not only marks the middle of the year. It's the start of a new fiscal year for most state governments and that means new laws typically take effect. Here are some of the new tax statutes now on state books. Indiana has changed how it calculates tax on gasoline. Instead of the previous fixed 19-cent-per-gallon sales tax, the tax rate will be modified month-to-month. Specifically, the Hoosier State's gas usage tax rate now will be 7 percent of the average price of gas the previous month. That means, says the Indiana Department of Revenue, that the state's July... Read more →


Transportation Department Secretary Anthony R. Foxx has been warning Congress for months that the Highway Trust Fund, the main pot of money Uncle Sam uses to pay for his/our highways, is running low. If something isn't done quickly, DoT data indicates that the trust fund is likely to dip below the critical $4 billion funding level as soon as July. Sometime in August, the transit account is projected to fall below $1 billion. The problem is simple. As the chart below shows, not enough money is coming into the trust fund to meet the level of transportation spending that is... Read more →


It's summer, when most of us take vacations. Most of those trips are by car. That's why you tend to see gasoline prices go up in the summer. The only consolation in paying more at the pump is that the associated taxes and fees are supposed to help with road-related matters, such as repair and maintenance. Supposed to, but apparently not doing so in many cases and places. And folks in two states, Michigan and Massachusetts, are decidedly unhappy with their states' gas taxes. Michiganders mad about roads, taxes: Michigan drivers, as noted in this week's Weekly Tax Tip, are... Read more →


Has all the attention given Google's driverless car got you thinking about your auto? If you're a business owner, it could be the perfect vehicle. Photo courtesy Google It has no steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedal to mess with. You use your smartphone or tablet app to summon the vehicle, set your route, get in and go. Then just sit back and enjoy as the Google machine takes you to your destination. If it's to a business meeting, you can use the time you otherwise would be driving to polish your presentation. Or you can call your spouse to... Read more →


The best day in auto racing is two-thirds over, with the checkers having waved for the Formula 1 race along Monte Carlo's streets and at the Indianapolis 500. We race faces now await the green flag for NASCAR's longest race of the season, 600 miles that will end under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. One of the reasons I like watching races is that I get glimpses of incredible pieces of engineering. That's especially true of the F1 vehicles. I seen some of these magnificent autos, both the racetrack and regular road versions, on trips the hubby and I... Read more →


Are you heading out this coming Memorial Day weekend? I hope you have a great break from your job or whatever you're trying to escape. One thing you won't be able to avoid, however, is taxes. If you're flying, you already know about the tax ding on your travel budget. Cost Breakdown of an Airline Ticket from Airlines for America (A4A) The biggest cost is for fuel (just scroll down the slide above), with 21 percent of your ticket price paying to fill up the jet. Tax adds to ticket prices: Federal taxes, however, are a close second at 20... Read more →