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Republicans Include Electric Vehicle Tax Benefit In New Tax Law

The new tax bill just signed by the President and crafted by the Republicans in Congress and the Senate retains electric vehicle tax benefits and other taxpayer-funded green initiatives.


If quotes from Democratic Senate and Congress members are to be believed, the Republican crafters of the new tax bill just signed into law kept electric vehicle tax subsidies. This despite much hand-wringing by supporters of taxpayer-funded subsidies for electric vehicles, including the $130,000-plus luxury models.

Missouri’s Claire McCaskill was typical of the Democratic lawmakers who made it clear - and very public, that Democrats had no part in this new tax law that preserved the electric vehicle subsidies. McCaskill was quoted by VOX as saying, “I’ve actually talked to Republican senators about working with them, and it’s very clear to me that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan decided they were going to do this the way they wanted to do it, which meant just with Republican votes.” Vox was one of the first to confirm the EV subsidies were included by Republican lawmakers, saying on December 19th, , "A tax credit of up to $7,500 for electric car buyers made it into the final version of the tax bill." and naming the special interest winners in its added comments that included, "This is a win for companies such as Tesla, General Motors, and Nissan."

General Motors was one of the few companies that make EVs who stepped forward to lobby for the inclusion of the subsidies in the new tax code. Auto Finance News also confirmed the inclusion of the EV Tax benefits for buyers on December 21st, and noted GM's public call for the continuation of the special deduction, which read, “We commend Congress for passing vitally important tax reform legislation.”

In late November, The Hill quoted Bernie Sanders, Vermont Senator (Independent) and former Democratic candidate for Presidents, as saying, "What this legislation is about is fulfilling the promises, Republican promises, made to wealthy campaign contributors. There is a reason why the billionaire class provides hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Republicans, and now it's payback time."

National Public Radio interviewed Senator John Tester (D Montana), on December 3rd who echoed other Democratic lawmakers who made it clear that Democrats had no part in this legislation. Tester told NPR, "We weren't given the opportunity to determine what in that bill was good and what in that bill was bad." Tester went on to make clear that the bill (prior to becoming law on the date of this story) added huge financial burdens to future Americans due to its giveaways to special interest groups. Tester said in the interview in part, "...bill will add a trillion and a half dollars to the debt of this country that our kids and our grandkids are going to have to pay off, which is, I think, very, very unfortunate ..."

Nancy Pelosi, former House Speaker and current Democratic Congressperson from California called this new tax bill "Monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and every person who aspires to reach it." Pelosi made clear in her statement that the bill was passed by Republicans and said it was a moral imperative for every member of the House to vote no. The EV tax benefits were just one example of green initiatives Republicans included in the new tax code. Taxpayer-funded solar power subsidies also are part of the new Republican-written law.

For background on the electric vehicle tax benefit, please see our prior stories, including:
- 2018 Tesla Model 3 Will Have to Succeed Without Federal Tax Rebate
- What Happens If The EV Tax Credit Bill Gets Signed Before The Year End?


Jeff (not verified)    December 22, 2017 - 1:47PM

I am surprised. I bought my Chevy Bolt in October thinking the EV tax credit would go away. I am glad it stayed though.

John Goreham    December 22, 2017 - 3:11PM

In reply to by Jeff (not verified)

Congrats. I drove the Bolt in October and looked at buying one or leasing one this fall when dealers in my area (Mass and RI) had big inventories. The deal was just too hard to ignore. I'm glad the incentives stayed for new owners. It would have been unfair in every way imaginable to have taken it away from those who bought an EV in this year while the current law promised them a deduction.

Don Winterhalter (not verified)    December 22, 2017 - 1:51PM

This article is still a piece of cheerleading because the Republicans did not screw up something that was already in the old tax code. I'm disappointed to see you take sides unless you're trying to start a debate.

John Goreham    December 22, 2017 - 3:00PM

In reply to by Don Winterhalter (not verified)

Fair criticism, Don. Thank you for your feedback. We do always strive to engage in a polite debate on EV topics and many other subjects. Torque News rarely wades into politics and we hope our readers will allow this rare story on a green vehicle topic that is hard to separate out from politics. TN's general avoidance of this angle is one thing that makes us different from almost every other publication that reports on green vehicle news.

Rhodomel (not verified)    December 22, 2017 - 2:36PM

Not really surprised. Some GOP Congressmen and senators from tates like Texas, Kansas, Wyoming, North Dakota need to be accommodated as they're having huge profits and job employment in renewable energy. They won't agree to the tax bill if clean energy subsidies or tax credits are cut off.

John Goreham    December 22, 2017 - 3:08PM

In reply to by Rhodomel (not verified)

Well said, and that was one underlying theme I hoped might be thought of by readers. The first EV subsidies, for PEVs in 2008 was sponsored by a Democratic congressperson (Charlie Rangel) and signed by a Republican President (Bush 43). The next was a very polarizing vote, but 3 Republican Senators voted for the ARRA that established the EV subsidies we now discuss. (Signed by President Obama) President Bush also signed the prior hybrid vehicle tax deduction law, called The Energy Policy Act, in 2005. That was a bipartisan vote. Many lawmakers from both parties voted yes on that one which established direct subsidies to buyers of green vehicles.

Mayur (not verified)    December 22, 2017 - 3:49PM

I'd rather that they revoke the EV tax benefit for luxury cars such as Tesla and put that money towards building better infrastructure across the country to support broader adoption of electric vehicles so we can reduce our country's dependence on fossil fuels. For example - they could build more charging stations and offer low cost or free charging, build more HOV lanes dedicated to EV vehicles...the possibilities are quite a few. I bet most people who spend ~$100K on these cars can live without that tax break.

Mark Day (not verified)    December 22, 2017 - 5:56PM

Subsidies are more proof positive that the Constitution is dead: Take from some (steal) and give to wealthy car purchasers (Tesla). A country of moral and economic bankruptcy - there is no legitimate authority for any of it.