Download this document in MS Word format
BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

AutoFill Template

S.316

Introduced by Senator Lyons of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Taxation; motor vehicle purchase and use tax; motor vehicle registration; fuel-efficient automobiles; incentives; clunkers

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to provide motor vehicle purchase and use tax and registration fee incentives for fuel-efficient automobiles, and to use part of the proceeds to fund a program to retire “clunkers” from the fleet of vehicles driven in the state.

AN ACT RELATING TO INCENTIVES FOR FUEL-EFFICIENT AUTOMOBILES AND THE REMOVAL FROM THE ROAD OF “CLUNKERS”

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 361 is amended to read:

§ 361.  PLEASURE CARS

(a)  The annual fee for registration of any motor vehicle of the pleasure car type, and all vehicles powered by electricity, shall be $59.00:

(1)  $59.00 annually if the vehicle has an average city-highway EPA rating of at least 30 miles per gallon, or the vehicle is powered by electricity, or the vehicle has been modified to accommodate a physical disability and is granted a purchase and use tax exemption under the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 8911(12), and the biennial fee shall be $108.00.

(2)  $125.00 annually for vehicles of model year 2009 or later if the vehicle has an average city-highway EPA rating of between 25 and 29 miles per gallon, and the biennial fee shall be $240.00.

(3)  $160.00 annually for vehicles of model year 2009 or later if the vehicle has an average city-highway EPA rating of fewer than 25 miles per gallon, and the biennial fee shall be $310.00.

(b)  For vehicles purchased within the state, the registration fees established in subsection (a) of this section shall be paid by the dealer who sold the vehicle and remitted to the department of motor vehicles each quarter.  A certificate shall be provided by the dealer to the buyer at the time of sale, indicating that the fee has been paid.  The certificate shall be presented to the department of motor vehicles at the time of registration.  For vehicles purchased out of state, the fees shall be paid at the time of registration. 

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 8902(12) is amended to read:

§ 8902.  DEFINITIONS

Unless otherwise expressly provided, the words and phrases used in this chapter shall be construed to mean:

* * *

(12)  “EPA rating” means, for purposes of subsections 8903(a) and (b) of this title, the average miles per gallon of fuel consumed in city-highway use under ratings determined by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Sec. 3.  32 V.S.A. § 8903(a)(1) and (b)(1) are amended to read:

(a)(1)  There is hereby imposed upon the purchase in Vermont of a motor vehicle by a resident a tax at the time of such purchase, payable as hereinafter provided.  The

(A)  Except as provided in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (1), the amount of the tax shall be six percent of the taxable cost of a:

pleasure car as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motorcycle as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motor home as defined in subdivision 8902(11) of this title; or

vehicle weighing up to 10,099 pounds, registered pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 367, other than a farm truck.

(B)  For any motor vehicle defined in this subdivision (1) of a model year 2009 or later which has an EPA rating of at least 30 miles per gallon, the amount of the tax shall be five percent of the vehicle’s taxable cost.

(b)(1) There (A)  Except as provided in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (1), there is hereby imposed upon the use within this state a tax of six percent of the taxable cost of a:

pleasure car as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motorcycle as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motor home as defined in subdivision 8902(11) of this title; or

vehicle weighing up to 10,099 pounds, registered pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 367, other than a farm truck.

(B)  For any motor vehicle defined in this subdivision (1) of a model year 2009 or later which has an EPA rating of at least 30 miles per gallon, the amount of the tax on its use in this state shall be five percent of the vehicle’s taxable cost.

Sec. 4.  32 V.S.A. § 8903(h) is added to read:

(h)  There is imposed a surcharge of $150.00 on the purchase or use, subject to subsection (a) or (b) of this section, of new vehicles of model year 2009 or later, as follows:

(1)  Vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate with an EPA rating of 20 miles per gallon or fewer.

(2)  Trucks weighing more than 6,000 pounds and up to 10,099 pounds with an EPA rating of 17 miles per gallon or fewer.

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 581 is added to read:

 § 581.  CLUNKER RETIREMENT PROGRAM

(a)  Definition.  For purposes of this chapter, “clunker” means a pleasure car as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4 or a motor vehicle that would be registered at the same fee as a pleasure car pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 367, except a farm truck, which, according to criteria established in rules adopted by the secretary, classifies as likely to excessively pollute or unlikely to be adequately repaired, and, therefore, a detriment to air quality, and which has a likely fair market value at or below $2,000.00.

(b)  Clunker retirement program.  The secretary shall establish and implement a state program under this section for purchasing, dismantling, and recycling clunkers, and for their replacement by clean cars or by increased use of public transportation.  Once the program is implemented, the secretary shall provide the general assembly with an annual report which explains the progress of the program, recommends funding levels, and suggests statutory or regulatory changes that might be appropriate to increase the efficient functioning of the program.  In developing the program, the secretary shall adopt rules that:

(1)  Establish a process by which a public transit provider or a new or used car dealer doing business in Vermont obtains and retains authority to participate in the clunker retirement program.

(2)  Establish a process for the redemption of vouchers from public transit providers and from car dealers that are participating in the clunker retirement program.

(3)  Establish a process for assuring eligibility of a person who desires to sell a clunker to the secretary.

(4)  Establish guidelines for establishing a voucher amount when purchasing a clunker in exchange for a voucher.  Since the goal of the program is to remove polluting clunkers from operation, the guidelines shall be devised so that the state pays more for the retirement of the clunkers that

pollute the most, with secondary emphasis given to a clunker’s fair market value.

(c)  Clean car list.  The secretary shall establish a “clean car list,” which shall be determined annually, based exclusively on scientific research  regarding automotive pollution per mile traveled.  The pollution threshold for a motor vehicle that is eligible to be placed on the clean car list shall be established at a level that assures the inclusion of at least some cars with a market value of approximately $2,000.00.

(d)  Owner eligibility.  In order to be eligible to sell a clunker to the secretary, the owner of the clunker must establish the following to the satisfaction of the secretary:

(1)  that the clunker was registered in Vermont on or before January 1, 2004 and continues to be registered in Vermont;

(2)  that the owner of the clunker possesses a valid Vermont driver’s license;

(3)  that the owner has not previously sold a clunker to the secretary.

(e)  Vouchers.

(1)  Upon the purchase of a clunker, the secretary will issue to the owner-seller a voucher in an amount agreed upon by the parties, but not exceeding a value of $2,000.00.  A voucher may be used by the seller for either or both of the following:

(A)  payment toward the purchase of a car on the clean car list from a new or used car dealer who is doing business in the state of Vermont and who is participating in the clunker retirement program;

(B)  the purchase of public transit tickets or credit with carriers that are participating in the clunker retirement program.

(2)  A voucher is not valid if transferred to another person.

(f)  Clunker retirement.  The secretary shall arrange for the dismantling and recycling of purchased clunkers in a manner that maximizes the utility and value of the purchased motor vehicles and their components.  Proceeds from clunker reclamation and recycling shall be deposited into the clunker retirement fund created under this section.

(g)  Clunker retirement fund.

(1)  There is created in the state treasury a fund to be known as the clunker retirement fund, to be expended by the secretary.  The fund shall consist of the following:  proceeds from clunker reclamation and recycling; notwithstanding the provisions of 19 V.S.A. § 11, the proceeds from the surcharge imposed under 32 V.S.A. § 8903(h) for the purchase or use of specified fuel-inefficient vehicles; and appropriations of the general assembly.  All balances in the fund accounts at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund.  Interest earned by the fund shall be deposited into the fund.  Disbursements from the fund shall be made by the state treasurer on warrants drawn by the commissioner of finance and management.

(2)  The secretary may authorize disbursements from the clunker retirement fund, as funds are available, for:

(A)  The costs of purchasing, dismantling, and recycling clunkers, including the costs of redemption of vouchers from public transit providers and from car dealers participating in the clunker retirement program.

(B)  The costs of administering the clunker retirement program.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICABILITY

     This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and shall apply to purchases, uses, and registrations on and after July 1, 2008.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us