While I'm not sure his idea won't affect the town budget as little as he thinks it does, I applaud Dave Warden (see below) for creative thinking. Without mandating a change, this idea promotes hybrid car buyers without giving them more public privileges like free parking or solo access to the HOV lane.
San Mateo Daily Journal
Belmont Councilman Dave Warden is suggesting the city draft a rebate program that could give residents approximately $500 in the form of a gift certificate in addition to the federal income tax rebate. Rather than cutting residents a check, it would offer gift certificates to city services.
“It would be some kind of credit so in the future, if you want to take a parks and recreation class, rent a facility ... you can use this credit,” Warden said.
The “gift certificates” could also pay for building permits and other such city fees. It would not cut into the city budget because it would require staff time rather than cutting a check to residents, Warden said.