SEMA helped defeat an Arizona measure (H.B. 2575) that sought to tax vehicles up to $600 for each registration year based upon their fuel economy (the lower the gas mileage, the higher the tax). The legislation ostensibly sought to help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and improve air quality.
The Arizona legislation would have limited consumer choice in purchasing vehicles by making popular performance and luxury cars, as well as SUVs, light trucks and minivans, substantially more expensive to own. In addition, it would have done little to conserve energy or improve fuel economy. Total gas consumption depends on factors such as total miles traveled, the make-up of the overall vehicle fleet and gasoline prices, NOT simply on new vehicle mileage standards. At the same time, air quality has more to do with overall basic vehicle maintenance than it does with owning and operating any particular class of vehicle.