The state senate has voted to give tax deductions to people who buy American-made hybrid vehicles. Senator LuAnn Ridgeway of Smithville says the tax deduction will help the Ford plant in her district sell the vehicles it makes.

She says twenty-five to forty-five percent of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner small SUVs coming off the Claycomo assembly line are hybrids. But she says there’s not enough incentive for dealers to market hybrid vehicles and not enough incentive for the public to buy them.

Ridgeway’s proposal would give tax deductions of as much as $2500 to buyers of hybrid vehicles made anywhere in the United States.

She says hybrids are becoming increasingly important as the federal government increases fuel economy standards. Ridgeway has told a fellow senator, "You know what flows downstream. Well, it’s flowing downstream from the Potomac." She says the purchase of hybrids will answer the American craving for pickup trucks and SUVs.

But her tax deduction is far from being a line on a Missouri tax form.

Ridgeway’s proposal has been put onto another bill that has been loaded with other tax breaks for various groups and is likely to pick up other tax breaks as it goes through the House, meaning a compromise version is likely to be written in the closing days of the session. During that process, many of the tax breaks will be stripped away. We’ll learn late in the session, perhaps in May, if her plan survives.


Her plan is part of SB 989.