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Washington EV tax break set to lapse

Seattle, Washington

The US state of Washington is likely to lose its EV tax incentive some time over the summer after lawmakers’ bids to prolong it failed

Washington state is likely to end its sales tax exemption for buyers of electric vehicles soon.

The break currently ends once 7,500 EVs have been registered with the state or by default in June 2019, whichever comes first. As many as 6,843 EV had been registered as of mid-March 2018, suggesting that the threshold will be reached this summer.

Lawmakers trying to extend the exemption have so far failed to do so. One bill sponsored by Representative Jake Fey made it through the state House in February with support from both parties, but failed to make it through the Senate before its legislative session closed in early March, the Seattle Times reported.

The newspaper also reported that automakers including GM, Tesla, Ford and the Association of Washington Business publically supported an extension too.

The state typically taxes all car sales at 6.5% (which is the standard retail sales tax), though individual counties may add a small sales tax meaning the overall saving offered by the break can vary. The current exemption applies to the first US$32,000 of an eligible new electric passenger car, medium-duty passenger vehicle or light truck.

The state also has a target of putting 50,000 plug-in vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) on its roads by 2020 – a figure that appears increasingly remote should the tax incentive lapse.


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