We ARE smarter than California

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We ARE smarter than California

We ARE smarter than California
Dept. of Revenue reverses itself, says new electric BMW with made-in-WA
parts will get tax exemption after all

State Rep. Chad Magendanz was happy to find out that one of his prime-sponsored bills is unnecessary, now that a state agency has reversed its position on a tax exemption for electric cars. Rep. Magendanz on the House floor

The Issaquah Republican had been pushing legislation to clarify that electric vehicles such as the new BMW i3 qualify for a state sales tax exemption.  The state Department of Revenue (DOR) told Magendanz last month that the i3 – which has carbon fiber parts made in Washington – wouldn't qualify because of an optional gas-powered “range extender” BMW offers to consumers worried about their car running out of power.  Magendanz introduced the bill to counter the department's interpretation of the exemption law, but last week DOR informed lawmakers it had changed its mind.

“It's a great thing when common sense prevails in government,” said Magendanz. “Unlike California, Washington is sending the message that we encourage innovative, environmentally-friendly automotive technology.”

The issue of the sales tax exemption came to Magendanz's attention when he read that California had backed out of a deal with BMW to grant the i3 the state's coveted “Clean Air Vehicle” white decal, which gives drivers full access to HOV lanes.  California said the range extender – even though it's optional and not permanently connected to the car – compromised the i-3's status as a solely electric vehicle.

The i3 is expected to hit the U.S. market this spring.  SGL Group in Moses Lake produced carbon fiber components for the car's passenger compartment.


Washington State House Republican Communications