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Posted on February 24, 2016

Save Yourself Some Green…We Mean Money and the Environment

By: Kristyn Hicks

What is House Bill 877?

House Bill 877 clarifies what it means for a vehicle to use alternative fuel, clean fuel or electricity by plugging-in. This bill also proposes income tax credits for the next three years for vehicles that uses alternative energy.

“I thought we already had tax incentives for low-emission vehicles.”

Vehicles that were purchased on or before June 30, 2015 still qualify for past tax credits, but tax credits for these environmentally-friendly vehicles were discontinued with last year’s transportation legislation. House Bill 877 reinstates some of those incentives in a new bill.

How much is the credit and what vehicles qualify?

The credit from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017, will be:

-for any low-emission vehicle, 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle or $2,500.00, whichever is less.

-for any new plug-in electric vehicles (battery from four kilowatt hours to ten kilowatt hours), 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle or $2,000.00, whichever is less

-for any new plug-in electric vehicles (with a battery greater than ten kilowatt hours, ten percent of the cost of the vehicle or $3,000.00, whichever is less.

The credit from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019, will be:

-for any low-emission vehicle, 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle or $2,500.00, whichever is less

-for any new plug-in electric vehicles (battery from four kilowatt hours to ten kilowatt hours), 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle or $1,000.00, whichever is less

-for any new plug-in electric vehicles (with a battery greater than ten kilowatt hours, ten percent of the cost of the vehicle or $2,000.00, whichever is less.

How does the tax credit work?

A few conditions must be met. Claims have to accompanied by a certification of approval from the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources.These claims can only be made by the taxpayer and the taxpayer has to be the owner of the vehicle. Finally, only one taxpayer can claim the credit per vehicle.

The tax credit is good for up to five years after purchase of the vehicle. This bill also includes a maximum amount of the budget that can be allocated for tax credits to low-emission and electric vehicles.

Why is this a good thing?

Tax credits are an incentive to purchase environmentally-friendly vehicles and alternatively fueled vehicles.

In 2013, the U.S. imported a third of the petroleum it used making the U.S. vulnerable to supply distributions and spikes.  Using hybrid and electric vehicles decreases U.S. dependence and increases energy security. Currently, the everyday consumer is enjoying low gas prices. However, the large use of foreign oil and the current large supply is hurting domestic oil production and the people whose livelihood depends on the industry.

The large oil supply and low prices will not last forever. When the oil supply is constricted, the price is going to increase. This increase will greatly affect average consumers, businesses and the economy at large.

The incentive also promotes purchasing environmentally-friendly vehicles. Helping the environment should be a priority for everyone, and driving a low-emissions vehicle is an easy way to do that. Check out infographics and all the information you could need from the Environmental Protection Agency. Rep. Frye is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for the district, Georgia and the nation as a whole. By sponsoring this bill, he is helping to reward you for doing your part as well.