Marble Bill Would Pull the Plug on "Green Vehicle" Welfare

Denver -- Colorado may soon pull the plug on alternative vehicle tax credits that subsidize the affluent at the expense of everyone else, while providing an unfair and unnecessary advantage to a niche car market, if a tax credit phase-out authored by Republican Vicki Marble continues to win support at the Colorado Statehouse.

Senate Bill-47, which phases-out “green car” subsidies that Marble and other critics call costly, unfair and outdated, cleared the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday on a bipartisan 4 to 1 vote, sending it to the Appropriations Committee for the next round of debate. Marble cheered the vote as a win for taxpayers and average Coloradans, who shouldn’t have to help bankroll a tiny fraction of motorists, concentrated mainly in affluent areas of the Front Range, who can afford to buy alternative fuel vehicles.

“Most of those who benefit from this $5,000-per-vehicle credit are concentrated in just 6 relatively wealthy counties along the front range, while motorists in the remaining 58 counties, the vast majority of whom drive conventional vehicles, see no benefit at all and actually lose out due to the reduction in overall revenue the state collects,“ said Marble. “Tax credits originally were conceived as a way to help lower-income people make ends meet, but alternative vehicle tax credits turn that concept on its head by asking lower- and middle-income Coloradans to subsidize the purchase of vehicles that they either wouldn’t choose or can’t afford.”

Coloradans who choose to purchase these specialized vehicles won’t go totally without subsidies, Marble pointed out, since the federal government continues to offer a $7.500 per vehicle tax credit. “But I’m not sure how much empathy they’ll get from the vast majority of Coloradans, who don’t have government plunking-down $12,500 toward their new car purchases, just because they choose a more conventional type of vehicle.”

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