Teslas are pretty awesome. The technology seems mind-blowing and, hey, in theory, Teslas are even good for the environment (unless you count the electricity that must be produced via coal and other fossil fuels to charge the batteries). Here’s the catch, though. In order for Teslas to be even remotely desirable, Teslas depend on massive government subsidies. It’s no different in Colorado. In addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit Tesla buyers receive, Colorado also offers a $5,000 refundable tax credit against a $100,000 car.
A new bill that passed out of Senate committee today would seek to end the tax credit and the reasoning is pretty solid. According to the state Senate, the vast majority of Tesla purchases are in six of the richest counties in Colorado and the rest of Colorado subsidizes the richest car buyers. From a recent Complete Colorado article:
“Not surprisingly, the geography correlates strongly with income. The EVs Tax Credit’s own proposal put the target household income at $100,000 per year. In 2014, when the credit was passed, the state’s median household income was only $58,000. That meant that the bottom 75 percent of the state’s earners were paying for toys for the top 25 percent.”
With so many issues throughout Colorado that need attention and resources (read: cash), why are we subsidizing $100,000 cars? Look, go out and buy a Tesla. Enjoy your Tesla. Just don’t make someone in Mesa County, Colorado pay for it.