As he promised, Gov. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., has signed into law H.B.170, comprehensive legislation he says will address Georgia's ‘critical’ transportation infrastructure needs and is expected to generate almost $1 billion in new funding annually. However, the new law also includes a measure to eliminate some major tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
In a statement, Gov. Deal emphasizes the importance of new transportation funding.
“We've reached the point where we can no longer keep up with the growing infrastructure demand that encourages job creation, maintains our businesses' bottom lines and takes us home to our families,” he says. “This investment reflects our modern-day population and current infrastructure usage.”
Deal also appears to acknowledge that lawmakers had to make difficult decisions when passing H.B.170, which will also institute some state tax changes for gasoline and diesel.
“Without this bold action taken by Georgia's legislators, our state was at risk of falling behind,” says Deal. “The leadership demonstrated by these men and women showed a vision oriented in the future, not in the past. The steps taken were tough, but necessary, and I appreciate the hard work on all sides of the aisle in order to boost our ability to do business, and keep Georgians safe.”
The legislation, whose provisions will take effect on July 1, will end state income tax credits for the purchase or lease of new zero-emission (battery-electric, not including plug-in hybrid) and low-emission (dedicated natural gas and propane) vehicles.
The tax credits include the lesser of $5,000 or 20% of the cost of a zero-emission vehicle and the lesser of $2,500 or 10% of the cost of a low-emission vehicle.
The law will also institute a new annual fee for vehicles that run on electricity. The fee will be $200 for non-commercial and $300 for commercial vehicles each year.
Under a separate law passed last year, Georgia is slated to start providing tax credits in July for medium- and heavy-duty AFVs. Nonetheless, Don Francis, coordinator and executive director of Clean Cities-Georgia, recently told NGT News that he expects the AFV policy changes under H.B.170 to “initially kill the market for electric vehicles.”