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Calif. Legislators Expected to Vote on Clean Car Discount Act

January 28, 2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- The California Assembly this week is expected to vote on the California Clean Car Discount Act, a bill seeking to impose charges and grant rebates based on a vehicle's emission of carbon dioxide and other gases, the Los Angeles Times reported. The bill is AB 493. A previous version of the bill was narrowly defeated in the Assembly in June, the L.A. Times reported. This time, the legislation might have a better shot at passing. The bill calls for the state air board to rank passenger vehicles, beginning with 2011 models, according to the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they emit. Fees and rebates would apply on a sliding scale.If you took the bill's criteria and applied them to 2006 models, one-time registration fees of up to $2,500 would be charged for vehicles like Hummers, Dodge Vipers and Chevy Tahoes. A Ford F-150 would carry a $1,200 fee, while a Chevy Silverado 1500 would carry a $900 fee. Some cleaner SUVs, pickups and minivans would be exempt from any charge. But fuel-efficient vehicles like the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and others would qualify for rebates. A Prius buyer, for example, would qualify for a $2,500 rebate. A Highlander hybrid buyer would receive a $1,400 rebate.The bill provides surcharge exemptions for low-income buyers and businesses with fewer than 25 workers. Automakers and the United Auto Workers oppose the legislation, while a number of health organizations and environmental groups support it.
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