The proposed legislation that is working its way through the California State Assembly would reduce the sales tax on low-emissions vehicles to 3.06 percent, rather than the current 7.5 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times. The measure would apply to EVs, hydrogen fuel cells, plug-ins and compressed natural gas models. Based on current green car sales, the bill would cost the state an estimated $92 million in lost taxes each year, but that money would be paid from proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade emissions program. "This is the quickest, most effective way to incentivize consumers. There's no bureaucracy to deal with, no rebate to mail in," Assemblyman Phil Ting, who authored the bill, told the LA Times.
Green car shoppers in California shouldn't start betting on this bill cutting prices quite yet. The measure still needs to go through committee and a vote by the full assembly, and that could take until later this year, according to the LA Times. General Motors and Nissan are reportedly both supporting this legislation, though.
California already tries to incentivize efficient auto purchases with benefits like access to HOV lines and tax rebates. The state has even been working to get plug-ins to lower-income customers.