With the national debt climbing faster every day, don’t expect the federal tax incentives for purchasing hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles to be extended past the December 31, 2010 deadline. However, if you reside in the state of Pennsylvania, you may still have some added initiative to delve into the realm of purchasing an alternative fuel or hybrid vehicle on the way. All credits and incentives have expired up to this point, but there is still legislation going on in the state government which would provide for more credits should the bills pass soon.

The first bill is a senate bill numbered SB 70. This bill would exclude purchasers from paying sales tax on the net price of a new electric, hybrid-electric, or zero-emission vehicle. The net price is the difference between the purchase price of the vehicle and the average retail price of a comparable vehicle. If this bill should pass, the Department of Revenue would determine the average retail list price on comparable vehicles on an annual basis. This bill was introduced in January of 2009 and referenced to the Finance Committee. An even better bill, HB 191, would eliminate that tax altogether. This bill was introduced one month later and is still in legislation.

HB 564 reenacts an expired rule that exempts hybrid-electric, electric, and zero-emission vehicles from the annual registration fee for five years. Similar to HB 309, it would also exempt hybrid-electric vehicles that achieve an EPA rating of 40 or better mpg (city) from periodic emissions inspection requirements. This bill may be the closest to passing of all the bills issued in Pennsylvania for hybrid and electric vehicles.

There are also a minimum of three bills in discussion at this time, that would eliminate hybrid vehicles, and other fuel-efficient vehicles with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 45 mpg or better, from the sales and use tax. This rule would expire five years from the date it takes effect and be eligible for five years after that point only for vehicles with an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 55 mpg or more. Added to these bills is one that would include the removal of the sales and use tax from the sale of batteries and electronic equipment or services used in converting or manufacturing a hybrid-electric vehicle. The equipment bill, however, would expire just three years after its inception.

As is the case with most states, there are also bills in place that would eliminate hybrid and high-efficiency vehicles from the annual registration fee and vehicle emissions tests and inspections. Some of the vehicles which may qualify for this incentive include, but are not limited to:

For information regarding these bills or other incentives which may become available, you can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles website at: Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, or the Pennsylvania state government website at: www.pa.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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