Georgia, home to a $5,000 all-electric vehicle purchase tax incentive has revoked that initiative in place of a $200 registration fee and adding to the salt in the wounds is giving special perks to Mercedes-Benz as it relocates to the state.
The tax-break-ending legislation made it into law last week under the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 and starts July 1. This means those planning to purchase EVs in Georgia wishing to receive the incentive have roughly three months to do so.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Georgia rushed a bill through the house that would create a tax break for employees of Mercedes-Benz looking to lease a car through the company.
The tax break passed with a vote of 32-22, and is predicted by the Fiscal Research Center of Georgia State University that it will cost Georgia $1.3 million per year if Governor Nathan Deal signs it into law.
This perk is not unusual as state laws go, as it will grant a “manufacturer” plate to so-registered M-Bs as the state otherwise offers incentives to the tax-base contributor relocating from New Jersey. But its irony wasn’t lost on Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield writing for Transport Evolved who documented the perceived insult added to injury.
With this bill, Mercedes-Benz, as well as any car manufacturer that moves its headquarters to Georgia, will be able to pay a modest administration fee to compensate for the licensing of vehicles leased to employees. This will replace the registration fees normally payed by private purchasers.
According to the Associated Press, this tax break was passed four minutes after the legislatures deadline of midnight, thus the legality could be in question. As well, it may have also breached the rule that new legislation must have at least two hours of review before it can be passed.