California Legislature Considering Sales Tax Reduction For Clean Vehicles

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Live in California and looking for more money in your wallet upon purchasing a green vehicle? The state’s legislature just might make that wish come true.

The Los Angeles Times reports a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco would reduce the sales tax on so-called clean vehicles from 7.5 percent to 3.06 percent. The reduction would be applied to EVs, PHEVs, FCVs and CNG-powered models.

Should the legislation become law, over $92 million in tax revenue would disappear between 2016 and 2020, when the law rides off into the sunset; the figure is based on 60,000 PHEVs and EVs sold in 2014 for the national average transaction price of $34,725 per vehicle. Said revenue could be regained through California’s cap-and-trade carbon emissions credits program, currently holding $969 million as of February 18 per the California Air Resources Board.

The bill, which failed in 2013 due to funding concerns amid a shaky economic environment, will go through the committee process before arriving on the Assembly floor for voting later this year.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to gas guzzler taxes or tax incentives beyond PUNISHING people - who are supposed to be free - for buying COOL CARS - while subsidizing the richest for buying "green" cars...and giving them pristine "green parking spots" on liberal college campuses. I'm just fortunate I beat the gas tax on both my cars.

    • See 5 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Mar 10, 2015

      @SunnyvaleCA Sunnyvale, there are all kinds of plusses and minuses to Prop 13. The best I can say about it is what SCOTUS Justice Scalia actually said about it during arguments when it came before the court: " It's rough and ready, not perfect but close enough for government work."

  • 7402 7402 on Mar 10, 2015

    "while subsidizing the richest for buying “green” cars" One reason is that the rich can better afford to be early adopters. Early adopters provide the incentive, revenue, and feedback loops for manufacturers to improve products and increase production volumes to bring costs down for others. The tough spot is finding the sweet spot where it is both politically palatable and can actually make a difference.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Mar 10, 2015

    A solution in search of a problem. People are snapping up hybrids and electric vehicles in CA rapidly. This won't do anything but create yet another budget hole. Want to help Assemblyman Ting? Work on making it easier to run a small business in the Golden State. You know, the guys that help create jobs.

  • Ellomdian Ellomdian on Mar 10, 2015

    I wasn't aware that Cali had solved their absolutely MASSIVE budget problems so well that they could afford to incentive-ize cars that are typically bought by wealthy individuals in the first place. Huh.

    • See 1 previous
    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Mar 10, 2015

      @Lorenzo Does anyone know if any of the temporary taxes ever went away? The telephone tax was supposed to be temporary, but people who still use a landline are still paying it today. One reason I haven't had a landline since cellphones were invented. And then there was the tax to pay for WWI.