March 1, 2012

(Denver) – Help is on the way for Coloradans who lease Toyota Priuses or other hybrid vehicles and have run into hassles with their finance agencies over who gets to claim the federal innovative motor vehicle tax credit.

Rep. Jonathan Singer’s HB12-1299 passed out of the House Finance Committee on a unanimous vote Wednesday night.

The bill specifies that it is the motor vehicle lessee, not the automobile finance agency, who is entitled to claim the innovative motor vehicle tax credit. Currently, the state gives the bank the option of claiming the credit or passing it to the lessee.

A variety of Prius lessees testified that salespeople had promised them the credit, which runs about $2,500, only to run into resistance later from the finance agency.

“Too many consumers have gotten burned by thinking they could get a tax break, only to get it snatched away,” said Rep. Singer (D-Longmont). “I am heartened to see auto dealers and consumers coming together in support of this bill.”

Rep. Singer thanked Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) for bringing the problem to his attention and doing “great constituent advocacy” on behalf of hybrid vehicle lessees.

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