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article imageUp to $7,500 tax credit on EV purchase survives latest tax bill

By Ken Hanly     Dec 16, 2017 in Politics
Washington - The US tax credit of up to $7,500 on the purchase of an electric vehicle (EV) has managed to survive in the latest Trump tax plan. An earlier House bill would have ended the Obama-era credit as of the end of this year.
Earlier House bill would have ended EV tax credit
A bill passed by the House of Representatives in November would have ended the credit which ranges between $2,500 and $7,500 depending on the size of the EV and its battery capacity. A later bill passed in Senate in November kept the credit along with a number of other items that were cut in the version passed through the House of Representatives.
The credit would be phased out once a manufacturer sells 200,000 EV's as explained on the appended video.
Removal of the tax credit could crimp demand for EV's just as many auto makers are directing more investment towards EV's. EV's are a hard sell because of their high initial cost, limited charging infrastructure and range without being recharged. Gas prices are still relatively low as well.
Automakers and others successfully lobby to keep discount
The text of the reconciled bill has now been released and the tax credit was not ended.
A letter by two dozen mayors in support of keeping the credit along with pressure from auto manufacturers helped change the final bill to keep the discount. There was also pressure from the general public and environmentalists.
Automakers relieved at retention of discount
The large discount was a major factor in making the EV competitive in price with gas and diesel powered vehicles.
Many popular credits and deductions in other areas were zapped in the bill as the Trump administration tries to offset the slashes to corporate and other tax rates.
The automakers also want to encourage use of EV's to counteract the costs of increased emission regulations. Demand for EV's is already weak. The elimination of the subsidy would result in even less demand.
Tax bill remains a boon for corporations
The reconciled bill would permanently slash tax rates while offering only temporary cuts for individuals.
The corporate tax rate is to be cut from 35 percent to just 21 percent.
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the bill will lower federal revenue by a whopping $1.45 trillion over a decade but this is within the limit of $1.5 trillion allowed a year under Senate rules.
The bill also takes away many existing benefits. It repeals the individual mandate in Obamacare. This represents a cut of $338 billion from the health care budget and is expected to leave 13 million uninsured by 2027.
The bill also does away with the minimum tax saving corporations billions.
The bill should be voted on in the House of Representatives on Tuesday and by the Senate later. It is hoped that it will be available for Trump to sign before Xmas.
More about EV purchase, GOP tax plan, Tax credits
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