Revenue Dept. clarifies electric vehicle fee

[private]The Georgia Revenue Department has clarified one key provision of the transportation tax bill (HB 170) passed by the Legislature this year: cars powered solely by electricity will be subject to the yearly $200 fee on alternative fuel vehicles, but hybrids that run on electricity and gasoline will not.

The department, which is in charge of collecting the new taxes that make up HB 170, had initially issued a public notice stating that the fee applied to hybrids as well as electric-only cars and had collected the fee from several hybrid owners.

The language of HB 170, however, defines an “alternative fueled vehicle” as any vehicle that is “fueled solely” by electricity, natural gas, and propane – but not gasoline. That appears to indicate that a vehicle fueled in part by gasoline, such as a hybrid, would not be subject to the $200 fee.

Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who promotes the use of alternative fuel vehicles, received some complaints and brought the matter to the revenue department’s attention.

“After I contacted the DOR commissioner’s office, an additional review was done on the law,” Echols said. “Conventional hybrids will not be charged the $200 fee, I am now told. I think it was simply a misunderstanding about the technology.”

Revenue department spokesman Nick Genesi confirmed that the AFV fee will not apply to hybrids.

“Hybrid vehicles (Prius Hybrid, Civic Hybrid, etc.) will not be charged the AFV fee,” Genesi said in an email.

“I don’t have any definitive numbers about how many people have paid the fee,” Genesi said. “Whoever has will be issued a refund.”

HB 170 instituted the $200 annual fee on alternative fuel vehicles ($300 if the vehicle is used for commercial purposes) and also repealed the $5,000 state income tax credit that had formerly been available to persons buying electric vehicles.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: alternative fuel vehicles , hybrids , revenue department , Tim Echols