The Colorado General Assembly is eyeing a bill, that would remove the tax credit and transfer this money toward transportation infrastructure.
Currently, Coloradans can claim a tax credit of up to $5,000 for passenger vehicles that are electrical or plug-in electrical hybrid vehicles. This credit can increase to upwards of $20,000 for heavy-duty trucks.
The money siphoned from these tax credits would go to the Highway Users Tax Fund, which is the major source of state funding for the Colorado Department of Transportation, and is estimated to amount to $21.5 million in the next five years.
During a hearing for the measure, Senate Bill 188, on Tuesday, an amendment reduced the amount raised from measure to about $14 million.
The bill passed the Senate Finance Committee on a 3-2 party line vote with GOP in support.
Transportation funding needs in Colorado are estimated at $9 billion over the next decade.
Dawn Mullally, a representative of the American Lung Association, said her organization opposed the bill because it removed incentives to move away from fossil fuels, which increase carcinogens in the air.
Scott Hutchings, representing Waste Management Inc., said his company had converted more than 100 trucks from its fleet as a result of the tax incentive.
Bill supporters questioned the actual carbon reduction from electric vehicles. Also, they question why Coloradans were being asked to subsidize the upgrading of private companies’ equipment
“By allowing these subsidies to continue you are unfairly choosing to use our tax dollars to benefit a finite group of individuals and corporate interests,” said Rudy Zitti, deputy state director for Americans for Prosperity.
The bill will next go before the full Senate for consideration.