For those unfamiliar with how our legislative process works, here’s a quick intro:
- Lobbyist proposes a change to current law or a new law
- Trench-coat-garbed smoking men meet in darkened public parking garage to exchange money and verbatim text of proposed law.
- Congressperson enters new law as a bill.
(just kidding…I hope…)
- The Senate and House both propose bills, in this case a tax reform bill.
- Both the House and Senate committees debate and pass (or fail to pass) the bill from committee.
- The bill is heard by the respective chamber and the entire chamber votes on the bill.
- If the bills pass both the House and the Senate, someone has to iron out any differences, so that a singular, unified bill goes to the President’s desk for signature. This is done by a “reconciliation committee,” that makes compromises needed to assure passage through both chambers.
- Both chambers vote on the reconciled bill.
- If the reconciled bill passes both chambers, the bill is sent to the President for signature, making the bill the law of the land, or veto.
The big news for the last several weeks, in the EV world, is the House of Representatives had a clause, in their version of the tax reform bill, that eliminated the income tax credit, effective this December 31st. The Senate version kept the tax credit in place.
The first rumor I saw was that the reconciled bill contained the House’s wording, eliminating the tax credit.
Now, the latest rumor is exactly the opposite. Many sites are proclaiming the tax credit is saved.
My advice is unchanged: If you were considering the purchase or lease of a plug-in vehicle and the income tax credit was a major factor in the decision, do the following:
- Do NOT trust. Verify. If there is no public announcement before January 1st, consider pulling the trigger on your acquisition instead of taking the risk of not getting the tax credit.
- KEEP up the calls, emails, letters, tweets, Facebook posts, petitions, etc to your elected official up. Do NOT release the pressure, until we know the tax credit has been preserved!
- Of course, if it is announced the tax credit is ending, I recommend taking advantage of it before year’s end. I wish I could do the same, but my current Volt lease doesn’t end until March 2019.
- Of course, if both houses prematurely end the tax credit, vote against every single incumbent, regardless of party, in the next couple elections. Only then, will they remember who their bosses are and that they are in a subservient role.