Hybrid vehicles – those powered by a combination of an electric motor and gasoline engine – can save drivers a lot of money in operating costs. But many consumers don’t seriously considering hybrid vehicles because of the expense involved with the actual purchase. A bill before the Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee aims to change that.

Senator Jolie Justus Senator Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) sponsors legislation ( SB 163 ) that would provide a tax credit to any taxpayer who buys a qualified hybrid vehicle manufactured in the United States. The deduction on the state income tax return would be limited to the lesser of ten percent of the vehicle’s purchase price or $2,000 for vehicles bought on or after January 1st of this year. The credit would expire on December 31st, 2014.

The Senator says this would benefit auto manufacturers in Missouri. "On my side of the state," says Justus, "The Ford Motor plant (in Claycomo) makes a Ford Escape, and then I was talking to the folks on the eastern side of the state over at the GM plant (in Wentzville) and they are either going into production or already producing, in this state, a sedan that is a hybrid."

A federal tax credit exists for the purchase of hybrid vehicles, but that credit it being phased out. Justus says her credit could be used in conjunction with the federal savings.

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