Energy & Environment

GOP senator wants to exclude the rich from electric vehicle tax credit

Greg Nash

Republican Sen. Mike Braun (Ind.) will propose limits to the electric vehicle tax credit, aiming to eliminate it for the wealthy. 

He hopes to get rid of the credit for people making above a certain income threshold and to limit the credit for vehicles costing less than $45,000. 

A spokesperson for Braun told The Hill in an email that Braun will propose the measures as both their own legislation and as amendments to a sweeping energy bill introduced last week by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that could be the best chance this year to expand the use of cleaner forms of energy.

His measure to limit the credit by income would eliminate it for joint tax returns over $326,600 and individual returns over $163,300.

A statement from his office said that the measure imposing a cost limit means the credit would still be eligible for the following cars: BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Honda Clarity Electric, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, Mini Cooper SE, Nissan Leaf, Nissan Leaf Plus, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen E-Golf.

“I know we need to promote vehicles that reduce our carbon footprint, but it doesn’t need to be in the form of tax breaks for the wealthy and their luxury vehicles,” Braun said in the statement. 

“With Bernie Sanders on pace to secure the Democrat nomination, these two bills should be a slam-dunk for legislators who want to protect the environment while limiting tax breaks for the super wealthy,” he added. 

The Manchin-Murkowski bill, called the American Energy Innovation Act, could come to the floor as early as this week. It will promote research in renewables including geothermal and wave technology while shoring up supplies of minerals needed for the batteries to support long-term use of wind and solar.

The bill could face some hurdles, however, as parts of it that deal with mining and fossil fuels could be controversial among Democrats, and some groups have criticized it as being insufficient to tackle climate change. 

In recent months, several bills have been proposed in the House and Senate to expand the use of electric vehicles.

A bipartisan Senate bill introduced last year would raise the cap on how many consumers can receive the tax credit. Recent Democratic House bills have called for a nationwide electric vehicle charging network.

Tags Bernie Sanders electric vehicle tax credit Electric vehicles Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Mike Braun

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