HB 74 is a bill that offers a larger tax incentive to Utahns who purchase more fuel efficient vehicles, that passed in the House on February 26, 2014. The bill was sponsored by Representative Lowry Snow of St. George, and should it pass the senate, HB74 pushes the already existing current $2,500 tax incentive to encompass not only compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, but also hybrids and electric cars. Plug-in hybrids would also be included. Utah there are incentives in place for hybrid and electric vehicles, the write-off amount is significantly less —only $650.
With air-quality in Utah on a downward spiral, many have pushed for legislation to do more to encourage tighter restrictions, however, HB74 has its critics. Their complaint? HB74 fails to tackle the real issue, which is clean air in Utah. A $7,500 federal tax incentive for the purchase of a clean energy vehicle is already in place, making some question the need for an additional initiative on the state level.
Another sticking point surrounds the issue that HB 74's passage could potentially effect Utah businesses that rely on jobs in the coal industry, as well as the fact that Utahns of lower economic status cannot afford to purchase new vehicles that fall under HB 74's guidelines.
In the end, HB74 passed with a 59-13 vote and is now on its way to the state Senate. Although there's no official word yet, as of March 4th, the senate committee response seemed favorable.
We're interested to see what happens —do you think HB74 will help Utah's air quality issues?
For more on Utah Bill H.B. 74 Substitute Energy Efficient Vehicle Tax Credits, see the chart* below.
*As provided by the Utah State Legislature, 3/19/2014