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Senate supports tax credits for clean-fuel cars

Published March 12, 2013 7:18 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Senate voted Tuesday to extend expiring tax credits for vehicles that use cleaner fuels.

It voted 19-8 to pass HB96. Because it was amended — to allow the extension for just one year — it was returned to the House for further consideration.

It would provide credits of up to $2,500 for buying or converting vehicles that use cleaner-burning fuels, including hybrids or vehicles that use natural gas or electricity.

Such credits would otherwise have expired this year. State figures showed 552 vehicles were bought in 2011 using the clean-fuel tax credits that would be extended, which state air quality officials figure reduced pollution by 485.8 tons, Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan, the bill's sponsor, said in earlier debate.

The bill once appeared dead early in the session. A committee voted it down when some were concerned that money lost from the tax credits would hurt education funds that come from income taxes.

But the bill was reconsidered and amended so that only the first $500,000 would come from education funds — less than the $1.14 million that current credits cost schools. The rest would come from general funds.

It is among bills that Gov. Gary Herbert has endorsed as a means to reduce air pollution.

Lee Davidson