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Electric vehicle tax credit bill hits wall, tabled for now


A comprehensive electric vehicle tax credit bill reached a stalemate in the House Taxation and Revenue committee Monday morning after members voted to temporarily table the legislation following a lengthy discussion of its merits.

The Clean Car Income Tax Credit is one of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s priorities for the current session.It would do two things: give a refundable income tax credit for each electric vehicle and provide rebates to cover the cost of purchasing and installing an EV charger.

Consumers would qualify for the credit beginning in the 2024 tax year and it would sunset in 2029 – that cash could be immediately used on a down payment, and a dealership would receive the cashback during tax filing.

“So, we’re going to give a credit to somebody who buys a vehicle and yet, we don’t have the infrastructure nor do I think we will ever have the infrastructure in our state for the individual to be able to use that,” said Rep. Mark Duncan (R-San Juan).

Rep. Duncan was quick to dub the legislation the “I-25 bill” because of its clear favorability to more urban and developed areas.

“I also believe rural parts of New Mexico will be left behind,” Rep. Duncan added.

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Bernalillo) said the tax credits are supposed to be a starting point.

“This type of bill is hard for the rural folks, absolutely,” Rep. Hochman-Vigil said. “But, it’s not meant to leave them out. It is meant to be the start of a process that would eventually let them in.

This all comes after the state adopted new clean vehicle rules in November, mandating a vast majority of all new vehicles sold at New Mexico dealerships meet zero-emission standards by 2032.

Estimates from the New Mexico Department of Transportation predict an over 50 percent growth year-over-year in EV sales in the 2026-28 fiscal years.

Tabled legislation doesn’t officially die until the last day of the session, and lawmakers could take this up again, but many bills don’t make it through in this short, 30-day term.

Corrected: January 30, 2024 at 8:00 AM MST
This story has been updated to correctly reflect that Rep. Hochman-Vigil is the bill sponsor and is quoted during the hearing.
Bryce Dix is our local host for NPR's Morning Edition.
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