– Brian Grimmett, KUER
A bill that could make purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle, like an electric car, a little easier on the pocket book passed out of the Utah House Tuesday.
Republican Rep. Lowry Snow’s HB74would give someone purchasing a new electric or natural gas powered vehicle an up to $2,500 tax credit. Those purchasing a hybrid vehicle could claim a tax credit up to $1,250. Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, voted against the bill. He says the money used for this tax incentive could be better-used elsewhere, like replacing wood burning furnaces.
“The difference between a vehicle that qualifies for this subsidy and a tier 2 vehicle is quite small,” he says. “Whereas the difference between a wood burning furnace and a new efficient gas furnace is about 100 to 1.”
Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake, supported the bill. She says because cars produce the majority of pollution this is a great step towards cleaning up the air.
“We provide incentives through our state tax system all the time,” she says. “We’re always picking winners and losers. Why should we pick a winner? Why should we provide an incentive? Because it helps the public.”
A companion bill, SB139, would help fund the tax credits by increasing the amount owners of these vehicles would have to pay in registration fees. Both bills are now waiting for the Senate to take them up for debate.