by Tyler Arnold
Two Ohio senators announced Tuesday that they are introducing legislation that would provide tax subsidies for purchasing an electric vehicle as part of a goal to promote innovation in the industry.
“Our area is in the midst of a true transformation,” said state Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem. Rulli is co-sponsoring the bipartisan legislation with Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta.
“Working across party lines, Senator O’Brien and I are determined to deliver results, not just talk,” Rulli said. “We want the state of Ohio to be a leader in the technologies of the future, and that future is electric vehicles.”
The tax subsidy would provide a $500 sales tax credit to a person who purchases one vehicle for personal use. It would provide a $1,000 sales tax credit for purchasing up to 10 electric vehicles for commercial use. It would provide a $1,500 sales tax credit for a person or entity that builds a charging station for personal and commercial use.
The subsidy has a five-year sunset provision.
Rulli argued that the market is moving away from traditional combustion engines and that electric vehicles will eventually replace them in the same way automobiles replaced horse-drawn wagons.
O’Brien said he wants Ohio to emerge as the world’s capital for electric vehicles and that the bill would help attract manufacturers and suppliers to the state.
“Electric vehicles are the future, and we are trying to capitalize on that,” O’Brien said. “Here in Ohio, and particularly in my district in the Mahoning Valley, we have the skilled workforce, the infrastructure and the business relationships necessary to become the Electric Vehicle capital of the world. Our bill encourages Ohioans to switch to electric vehicles, signaling our seriousness about becoming leaders in this industry.”
Two weeks ago, General Motors announced a $2.3 billion investment to develop a battery cell assembly plant for battery-powered vehicles in Northeast Ohio near Lordstown. GM also sold its old Lordstown plant to an electric car manufacturing startup called Lordstown Motors.
“We have a workforce, and we have research and development capabilities that will augment these investments,” O’Brien said.
Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors, said his company is speaking with a lot of suppliers, encouraging them to set up shop there. He said there is an opportunity to claim that the Midwest is where vehicles should be made.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has been seeking to make Ohio the location for automobile innovation. Earlier this year, the state was awarded a $7.5 million grant to develop self-driving car technology.
– – –
Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.