The 'gas guzzler tax' was set up in the 1980s to penalize cars for achieving under a certain level of fuel efficiency.

Strictly speaking, the sales tax penalizes the owners themselves, adding to the cost of a new vehicle by thousands of dollars in some cases.

Recently though, advancements in fuel efficiency and new car technology mean that fewer cars than ever are subject to the tax.

As reported by USA Today, that means even cars like the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, with its 662-horsepower V-8 engine, no longer attracts the tax.

In fact, Ford has removed itself from the list entirely, while Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all produce high-performance cars that avoid it.

Certain vehicles remain, such as several of GM's top-end V-8s, as well as ultra super and luxury cars from Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and more.

To avoid gas-guzzler tax, a new car must achieve 22.5 mpg or greater. Cars which manage less than this figure in official EPA testing are charged on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of $7,700 for cars that guzzle up to or beyond one gallon every 12.5 miles. Trucks are exempt from the tax.

Even cars which remain on the list, such as BMW's high-performance M5 and M6 models, have had their tax level reduced as economy has improved. At 16 mpg combined, the 2013 M5 attracts $3,700 in gas-guzzler tax.

USA Today suggests that some top industry executives forsee the tax disappearing entirely in the next few years, as even more cars improve enough to become exempt--or at least, improve their position on the list.

What are your thoughts on the gas-guzzler tax? Leave your comments in the section below.


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