By on May 17, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

Electric cars take considerable flack from average consumers for being far too expensive in comparison to gas-powered competitors — and that’s before you realize it takes years to make that money back in fuel savings. Combine those two points with range anxiety and you’ve summarized the major hangups normal folk have with electric-vehicle ownership today.

The U.S. Federal government offers tax incentives, in the form of income tax rebates, to ease the monetary pain of EV ownership for average buyers. Individual states have joined the rebate incentive bandwagon, too. However, the state of Colorado is changing its tune, and will now gift you an incentive before you even drive off the dealer lot — no tax return required.

While the Federal government already offers a massive $7,500 tax break to EV buyers, that money is a reimbursement and comes after the sale. Colorado’s solution to make the initial purchase easier is a new $5,000 incentive that can be used as at the point of sale.

The new bill, HB1332, passed on the fourth of this month and offers a major improvement to how the states handle tax breaks. This replaces the old method of income tax breaks, which were due to expire in 2022.

The old method used a formula to calculate the girth of your incentive, from zilch all the way to $6,000. With that gone, a subset of Coloradans will lose out on another grand of savings, but the average consumer still saves more.

The new incentive works like this: instead of a complex formula determining what each purchaser receives, the bill creates a flat $5,000 credit. In addition to that, it allows the credit to be assigned to a dealership or finance company, which turns it into a discount that can be taken directly off the sticker price of the car. The total discount available to car buyers in the state of Colorado is $12,500, a total coup for the electric-vehicle market.

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

While the Leaf looks to be the cheapest option, and comes with free public charging, these discounts apply to every electric car available for sale in the state of Colorado. You can wrangle an amazing deal on anything you desire — as long as what you desire has a battery sending power to an electric motor that drives the wheels.

Where’s my electric Miata already?

[Images: Nissan]

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35 Comments on “Colorado Now the Best State for Tax Dodgers to Buy EVs...”


  • avatar
    laserwizard

    It is categorically false to claim that anyone who uses incentives by state or federal agencies is “dodging taxes”. You are not obligated to pay a certain amount of taxes and as such, anything you do to LEGALLY reduce your tax bill you should do.

    If you do something illegal or cheat on your taxes, that is truly “dodging” taxes and that is not the same as what this article is announcing.

    Now, there is a separate debate whether government should give any incentive at all – the state would pass muster if that is what citizens want to do, but the federal government has no authority to do so under its Constitutionally delineated authority; just because they can does not trigger a power delegated to it.

    As a libertarian, I would argue there should be no federal incentive of any kind for anything.

    • 0 avatar

      laserwizard – chill, bro. Take a hit.

      The ‘tax dodger’ bit is in reference to you not having to file a tax return to get the Colorado incentive, thus making Colorado a great place to buy an EV if you don’t file a tax return.

      Understand now?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        So you’re implying people that don’t need to file are tax return are all tax dodgers? That’s legal in some situations.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m saying all headlights are lights, but not all lights are headlights.

        • 0 avatar

          We could have made the headline, “Colorado Best State for Illegal Immigrants to Buy EVs”. Illegal immigrants aren’t going to file taxes (unless they are), but that doesn’t mean all people who don’t file taxes are illegal immigrants.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’d like to change my status to illegal immigrant.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            It’s no fun being an illegal alien, 28.

            Phil Collins agrees.

            youtube.com/watch?v=_61hzuGGJX0

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Probably not in 1983, but today I get to violate federal law without real repercussions, pay no taxes, get free handouts from various US gov’t agencies, be pitied and championed by leftist fools, and call the indigenous population whom I am leaching off of racist whenever they attempt to question my behavior or defend their country in a political way. I also can also retreat back to my nation of origin whenever I choose and probably not be extradited if say I go on a crime spree before leaving town.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            28, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised to find out most “leftists” agree more than you think on this subject.

            But where I differ with most of the single-issue immigration cranks is simple: I’m thinking of a way to NOT spend hundreds of billions of dollars to kick these folks out. “Enforce the laws” is fine…but ask any of them how to pay to enforce the law (or ask whether they’d pay MORE to enforce the law, more specifically) and all you get is the Internet equivalent of a blank stare or some vague “you’re a dumb liburul” comeback.

            Better to spend the money on better border protection and focus the rest on bringing the ones already here into compliance. Then they can pay their own way, or they can go back where they came from. And with more illegals becoming legal, you have a better shot at catching the scofflaws.

            That’s what you’ll find most liberals agree with. I want these folks in compliance too. I’m just realistic about how to get it done.

            (…and, yeah, more than a few of the “kick ’em all out” crowd ARE bigots, so it’s unfortunate that those morons make everyone else look bad, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire…)

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        But if you don’t file a federal return then you can’t get any of the up to $7500 federal monies. Plus if you don’t file tax returns you either can’t afford a new car, or if you can afford it you won’t be getting a loan because they look at what you tell the gov’t you make on your federal return in qualifying you for a loan. If you can afford to pay cash because of non-reported income then you probably aren’t in the market for an EV nor any new car because of the federal requirements for reporting cash transactions in excess of $10K. Unless of course you do the buy a $9,000 car for cash, take that and trade it in on a $16,000 car and keep working your way up $7000 at a time. Unless of course you can find the right salesman who will write up those transactions and only hit you $500 per contract instead of $2000 or more doing it the “legal” method. Yes people have been caught writing transactions to avoid the federally required reporting when they knew the customer was looking to avoid the required reporting because they were hiding at least some of their income from the gov’t.

        So yeah the ever increasing click bait types of articles.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Good news for my ex, then…she hasn’t filed since, oh, I dunno…2003?

        But seriously, I’m thinkin’ if you can afford a new car, there’s a tax return out there somewhere. And good luck getting a car loan without a valid SSN and a paystub.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @laserwizard – I agree with every word of your statement.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Is dodgeball legal in laserwizardland?

      “As a libertarian, I would argue that there should be no federal incentive for any kind of anything” — why is it that these so-called libertarians can only see incentives for electric cars, but are completely blind to all the incentives for Big Oil and ICE cars?

      Hmmmmm.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “. . . why is it that these so-called libertarians can only see incentives for electric cars, but are completely blind to all the incentives for Big Oil and ICE cars?”

        Those sorts of corporate incentives are much harder to see. They’re not shoved in your face the way this subsidy is.

        Buy an EV in Colorado, receive $12,500 in subsidies. What is the subsidy on an ICE car or on a gallon of fuel? If you can give us some hard numbers, then maybe it will be worthy of consideration. Otherwise, people are just going to see your side as ideology.

        And no, you can’t include anything related to war in this. The strategic goals of our masters have nothing to do with the interests of the common citizen. That game is operating on another level.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    5 grand up front is a pretty lush deal plus the federal.
    What’s the going rate on lease deals? Will they give you the car for free plus a few extra bucks for juice every month?

    Looking at Craigslist Atlanta (Georgia had a lush credit too) there are nice used Leafs with 20,000 miles with 4 figure prices. What a great car for the kids to drive to hs or retiree upgraded golf cart.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrick Hoffstetter

      I actually should have mentioned that. I think this helps make electric cars more reasonable to give to kids. Leased or otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      If my kids didn’t have cars already one of those under $10k Leafs or Focus EV would be great for their day to day running around in their smaller city. 30 miles of range would still cover the worst of their day to day driving and get them home with a little buffer. So the batteries could degrade pretty far and it would still get the job done. The question of course is just how long it would take to get to that point.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    I too, took a bit of umbrage at the headline for this article. While not as incensed as lazerwizard (few people are…maybe deadweight), I did take it to mean that the author was not in favor of the tax breaks currently offered purchasers of EV vehicles. This kind of puts an immediate perceived negative bias on the article.
    As an owner of a Spark EV, I am in favor of any and all incentives to perspective EV buyers. I guess this would make me biased in the “Pro-EV” direction. I think EV cars are really cool and do have a place in our automotive future. As they gain in popularity, more will be made, the price will become more reasonable and the re-charging infrastructure will be come stronger and stronger. When this happens incentives will no longer be necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      I’m not crazy about the subsidies, but I figure every one of these on the road cuts oil consumption a bit, and makes less demand allowing better fuel prices for my fleet of guzzlers.

      OTOH if they ever get to the point where they are driving up the price of the nat gas used to generate the juice, and it’s more expensive to heat my house, I might be grumpy.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrick Hoffstetter

      Oh don’t get me wrong, I love Electric Vehicles. Written reviews of them and loved the experience. The title was more tongue in cheek than anything. EV incentives are just going to help this market become stronger.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    In 2012, when I got my former Leaf, the dealer took the $7500 Federal subsidy – no tax return required.

    Also, PA didn’t require any income statement to apply for the state subsidy.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    The phrase you’re looking for is “tax avoider”.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, only in the sense that you’re taking advantage of the perfectly legal stuff in the tax code.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        The usage I’ve always heard is “tax dodging” is illegally not paying tax, “tax avoiding” is using legally available deductions, “loopholes” etc, to LEGALLY minimize your tax obligation.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    I should move to CO for a day, buy a Fusion Energi, then move back to NV. Thanks Coloradan’s and your foolish legislature for subsidizing my purchase.

  • avatar

    Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.

  • avatar
    redav

    Is the Smart EV available in CO? It’s about $4k cheaper than the Leaf. Ford also ran some heavy deals on the eFocus.

    Unfortunately, CO is one of the most coal-dependent regions in the US. If they push EVs, they ought to transition away from coal to be consistent. They already get a lot from wind, but it appears there is still a lot of untapped potential in WY, KS, & NE. They also have pretty good solar potential.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      They may be encouraging EVs for reasons other than CO2 production. Local pollution in dense population centers is one. Reliance on the more volatile oil market is another.

      Coal is a very stable resource, which can’t yet conveniently be used in mobile or home applications. It still makes sense to generate base load power from it. I wish my province would build the sister coal power plant that they had already designed and planned, instead of throwing up more jet turbines and burning through our natural gas reserves. That resource has better applications than stationary power generation.


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