The Georgia House of Representatives has passed H.B.170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, which includes a measure that would eliminate the state's low-emission vehicle income tax credit.
Under the legislation, there would no longer be tax credits for purchased or leased zero- or low-emission vehicles, starting July 1. There is currently 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), Don Francis, coordinator and executive director of Clean Cities-Georgia, tells NGT News.
Although the measures of the bill aim to address the state's transportation infrastructure needs, the money saved from eliminating the tax credits would stay in Georgia's general fund and would not go to the Department of Transportation, according to Francis.
The legislation would also require alternative fuel vehicle 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.
A $200 annual fee for a battery-electric car “is about four times what a Volt would pay in gasoline excise taxes or about the same as a pickup truck driven 12,000 miles per years,” says Francis.
First introduced in late January by Rep. Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, the act was passed by the House on March 5 by a vote of 123-46 and will now go to the state Senate for consideration.