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USA: NJ Assembly charges ahead with tax breaks for electric car stations

TRENTON – Few electric vehicles can be found on New Jersey highways, but the state is considering tax incentives to build charging stations for EVs.

Doug Stansfield sees it as his road to success. The Sussex County businessman says incentives will help grow EV sales and create a new industry of building charging stations in parking lots across the state.

“It’s like a chicken and egg scenario,” said Stansfield, president of Trans Atlantic Electric Conversions.

But one skeptical lawmaker, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, R-Morris-Somerset, said if Stansfield is wrong, the only charge will be to taxpayers for another failed government program.

“When the money dries up, who’s left holding the bag?” Bucco asked.

A bill to provide the incentives passed in the Assembly earlier this month by a 54-20 vote. The legislation will go to the Senate for further consideration.

The measure would provide three years’ of business and personal income tax credits for those who purchase and install EV charging stations at their business. There would be a credit of 25 percent of the cost up to $500 per charging station built in 2013, 15 percent of the cost up to $300 per station for those built in 2014 and eight percent of the cost up to $150 per station for those built in 2015

The bill, which provides a similar tax credit for a personal-use charging station purchase and installation, wouldcost the state an estimated $1.4 million. Under its formula, approximately 5,300 charging stations would be built over the next three years.

“We should be doing all we can to promote electric car usage and purchases in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, in a statement. “This bill isn’t a cure-all, but it’s certainly a great stride toward making New Jersey a friendly state for electric cars, and that’s a great thing.”

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