While most states are providing incentives for purchasing a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle by offering perks such as free parking or reduced-price parking, access to High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, or no requirements for emissions testing, Oregon is offering its residents something even better…money. Hey, nothing says love like a little extra green in your pocket! Not only is the Oregon government spreading that love to its residents, but it’s also showing a little to businesses as well.

The tax credits that residents can receive from the federal government will be ending on December 31, 2010. The tax credits Oregon residents can receive from the state government actually ended at the beginning of the 2010 year. The residential tax credit up to $1,500 for the purchase of an eligible hybrid vehicle met its end with that expiration date. However, if the vehicle was purchased before the January 1, 2010 deadline, you may still be able to take the credit. Qualifying vehicles are eligible for a $750 vehicle tax credit and a $750 on-board charging system credit. The vehicle must be purchased new and have been purchased on or before December 31, 2009. The following are qualifying vehicles for this credit:

Despite the expiration of the residential credit for the previous vehicles, a bill was passed allowing for the a credit of up to $5,000 for the purchase of plug-in hybrid vehicles. No expiration date of this credit is currently in place, and the exact amount of the credit will be determined by the Director of the State Department of Energy. Plug-in hybrids are not widely available as of yet, but several are scheduled to be released in the next couple years. GM is scheduled to release a plug-in crossover SUV in 2011, while Ford has a plug-in hybrid Escape scheduled for the 2012 model year. Volvo and Toyota are also looking into joining the ranks in 2012 with a plug-in V70 hybrid and plug-in Prius, respectively. Cadillac and Mitsubishi are also hoping to offer plug-ins but are still in the concept stages.

Another credit that met its expiration date on January 1, 2010, was the business tax credit. However, like the residential credit, this one may be able to still be claimed as well. This credit states that Oregon business owners may be able to take a credit of up to 35% of the vehicle’s net eligible cost for the purchase of a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle. As long as the vehicle was new and purchased prior to January 1, 2010, the following vehicles would qualify with the following net eligible costs:

  • Chevy Tahoe Hybrid                                       $9,183
  • Ford Escape Hybrid                                        $5,495
  • GMC Yukon Hybrid                                         $9,183
  • Honda Accord Hybrid                                   $2,054
  • Honda Civic Hybrid                                        $4,840
  • Lexus RX 400h                                                 $3,680
  • Lexus GS 450h Hybrid                                  $3,000
  • Lexus LS 600h Hybrid                                  $5,018
  • Mazda Tribute Hybrid                                   $3,985
  • Mercury Mariner Hybrid                             $5,035
  • Nissan Altima Hybrid                                    $4,690
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid                                   $6,078
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid                          $6,550
  • Toyota Prius Hybrid                                      $5,745

For more information or any questions on either of these credits, you can visit the Oregon Department of Energy’s website at: Oregon Department of Energy.

A program that is still in effect is the discounted monthly parking program, which offers a $15 per month discount on monthly parking for hybrid vehicles that get an estimated 35 mpg or more for either city or highway driving. More details on this program can be found at: http://www.citycenterparking.com/Drive_Green/drive_green.htm.

There is also a bill currently in legislation that would reduce the vehicle registration fee to $15 for fuel-efficient vehicles. That bill number is SB 1021, and more information can be found on it at: www.oregon.gov.

Be sure to also see if the vehicles you’re considering can qualify for a federal tax credit, deduction, or rebate.  Here’s  more info on new car tax credit, hybrid car tax credit, new diesel car tax credit, and electric car tax credit from the federal government.  Also, make sure to check out the list of year-end new car deals, new car lease deals, and certified used car deals being offered by the car makers.  Given the year-end and car manufacturers’ desire to sell more cars, there’s great deals to be had if you do your homework and are aware of all the incentives, discounts, rebates you can qualify for.  Here’s some tips on year-end car buying strategy.

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