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House considers extension of electric vehicle sales tax exemption

by caprecord

An electric vehicle sales tax exemption would continue until 2025, under a bill heard Monday in the House Finance Committee.

The tax incentive, due to end this year, would apply to the first $60,000 of the vehicle’s price. Currently the tax exemption has no restriction on the vehicle price.

A Smart car plugged in at the North American International Auto Show. Photo by smart via Facebook.

The sales tax exemption could save a car buyer up to $3,900 in state sales and use tax on the first $60,000 of an electric car purchase. The state estimated the changes would reduce state revenues by $5.5 million in the 2016 fiscal year, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

JJ McCoy, a member of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association, says the HB 1925 would encourage the average consumer to choose an electric vehicle, which would save them money on fuel in the long run. He said that spending money on gasoline is not the best economic driver.

“If they can save money on fuel, that’s money that people will spend on almost anything else, whether it’s food or entertainment or personal services. Those are far better generators of jobs in the local economy,” he said.

Cliff Webster of GM also testified in support, but asked lawmakers to work on the language so additional plug-in electric hybrids, like the Chevrolet Volt, can qualify. The Volt currently does not qualify for the same sales tax exemption, according to the state Department of Revenue.

The House Finance committee heard testimony from 13 bills on Monday morning, and took executive action on several bills. You can watch the hearing in TVW’s archives.

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