BREAKING: Extension of Electric Car Charging Station Incentives Snuck Into Tax Cut Extension Bill
Last week we brought you news of the impending December 31, 2010, expiration of lucrative federal incentives towards the purchase and installation of electric car charging stations. The incentives in question allow for 50% of the cost of installing a charging station on commercial or private property (up to $2,000 private, $50,000 commercial) to be refunded as a tax credit. If they expire on December 31, as current law allows, it would mean only a tiny fraction of the oncoming slew of tens of thousands of electric vehicle owners would be able to take advantage of it—not to mention the businesses that want to install them on their property.
It now appears, based on information I've obtained from Senator Jeff Merkley's office, that the most current language in the controversial tax cut extension bill—which the Senate has just voted to move forward on an 83-15 vote—includes language inserted at the last minute to extend the tax credit for one more year, through December 31, 2011. If you want to really dig into it yourself, check on the 12/13 revision here and read page 51, sec 711, "Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property," where it talks about revising Section 30C of the Internal Revenue Code.
Technically known as the "Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit," it applies to everything from natural gas stations to hydrogen stations to EV charging stations. Up until the end of 2009, the tax credit was only good for 30% of the cost of purchase and installation. For 2010, the credit was increased to 50%. It is unclear if the proposed one year extension would drop those levels back down to 30% or keep them at the 50% level. Let's hope for an extension of the 50% credit, but at this point even a 30% credit would be more than most electric vehicle advocates were expecting given the dysfunctionality of our lame duck, pre-holiday congress.
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