Come July, a wider range of fully electric and extended range plug-in hybrid cars will benefit from a sales tax break in Washington state. Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Monday to raise the cutoff for a tax incentive.
JJ McCoy of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association says that means the upcoming Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt and next generation Nissan Leaf should qualify.
“I really think once those cars are hitting showrooms and are properly incentivized, we’re really going to see electric vehicle adoption take off,” McCoy said. “This is a very exciting offering.”
Beginning in July, the sales tax exemption applies to the first $32,000 of the selling price of a qualifying new electric car. That nets a tax savings between $2,600 to $3,100 for electric car buyers depending on where the dealer is located in Washington.
The sales tax varies slightly from county to county.
McCoy said the Washington Legislature trimmed the value of the EV sales tax break from the current $35,000 maximum exemption to offset the hit to the state treasury from expanding the number of qualifying vehicle models.
The sales tax break is currently limited to alternative fuel vehicles with a sales price up to $35,000. That threshold was intended to exclude luxury models such as Teslas and BMWs. This winter, EV enthusiasts and automakers convinced lawmakers to raise the threshold to include vehicles where the base model has a MSRP up to $42,500.
McCoy said that level captures the “mid-market” including the BMW i3 with an MSRP of $42,400 and the much heralded Tesla Model 3 whose price is expected to start around $35,000.
Washington’s alternative fuel vehicle sales tax exemption is slated to expire midway through 2019. [Copyright 2016 NWNews]