Florida Senate Bill 864, filed by Florida Senator Darren Soto (D-Orlando) on February 12, 2015, is generating a chance for Florida to join the rest of the world in pursuit of cleaner air, quieter traffic, and less need for that ever-smelly gasoline and diesel fuel. It is time that Floridians catch up, and this bill could really help us to do so. As the title above states, to encourage change and help promote EVs in Florida, this bill would exempt EVs from Florida’s sales tax.
The sales tax exemption would be effective as of July 1, 2015. We haven’t seen any mention of a companion Florida House of Representatives bill, but let’s hope Senator Soto is not alone in leading the way forward out of dirty fuel and clearing the air a bit.
Here’s the applicable language, which we ran across on the Tesla Motor’s Club forum:
Electric and hydrogen vehicles.—The sale of an electric vehicle or a hydrogen vehicle is exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter. As used in this paragraph, the term “electric vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is powered solely by electricity produced by rechargeable storage batteries, and the term “hydrogen vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is powered solely by hydrogen used in a fuel cell or an internal combustion engine. This paragraph expires June 30, 2020.
Making EVs more easily affordable and slowing the need for dirty fuel is a good idea, from so many angles. As it is, Florida is an automobile-heavy state with no strong mass transit. The Sunshine State needs EVs in order to deal with massive pollution and, thus, public health problems.
Compared to a progressive state like California, which at least has legislation prioritizing clean air and EVs, Florida has a long way to go. It is as if Floridians are eras apart in terms of clearing the air of automobile pollution. California’s Charge Ahead program is one Florida might take a look at for more good ideas. Charge Ahead California opens a portal to America’s future, but some may arrive sooner than others. California aims to have 1 million EVs on its roads within 10 years. Florida might take note. A good tax incentive is a good place to start.
Image Credit: Tesla Motors