Georgia Senate Passes Transportation Bill with Alt-Fuel Impacts

In a 29-25 vote last week, the Georgia State Senate narrowly passed a comprehensive transportation funding bill that includes measures to do away with the state's low-emission vehicle income tax credits and make alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) owners pay an annual fee.

H.B.170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, passed in the Georgia House of Representatives earlier this month and aims to address the state's transportation infrastructure needs. The Senate made several changes to the original bill, but the aforementioned measures impacting AFVs remain intact. The legislation now goes back to the House for reconciliation.

The legislation would eliminate tax credits for purchased or leased zero- or low-emission vehicles, starting July 1. As Don Francis, coordinator and executive director of Clean Cities-Georgia, previously told NGT News, the state currently has a $5,000 tax credit for zero-emission vehicles (battery-electric, not including plug-in hybrids) and a $2,500 tax credit for low-emission vehicles (dedicated natural gas and propane).

Furthermore, the bill would require AFV owners (electricity, natural gas and propane) to pay $200 for non-commercial and $300 for commercial vehicles each year. This fee would be adjusted annually based on the National Highway Construction Cost Index and would not be imposed on hybrid vehicles.

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