New fees mistakenly imposed on hybrid car owners

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Garages are being built and retrofitted in metro Atlanta to accommodate homeowners with a Tesla models or plans to purchase Teslas or other electric vehicles. Contributed by David Lefkovits, LEFKO Design + Build.

A $200 fee for noncommercial plug-in electric vehicles ($300 for commercial) takes effect on Tuesday.

But some people who own hybrids mistakenly got billed for the $200 fee when ad valorem tax notices were mailed out to those with July birthdays and new vehicle registrants, said Nick Genesi, communications director for the state Department of Revenue.

Only people with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt, are required to pay the fee, Genesi said.

Even plug-in hybrid owners aren’t necessarily subject to the new tax. They only have to pay it if they have chosen to get an alternative-fuel vehicle license plate allowing them to use HOV and the I-85 HOT lanes for free.

Roswell resident Eyal Lantzman, 38, said he was angry and bewildered when he got a $200 bill for his 2013 Nissan Leaf as well as his 2008 Prius. That’s in addition to the usual license plate fees and taxes. His total bill was more than $550.

“It was a shock,” Lantzman said. “And it’s not like I have a new or a fancy car. To pay this on top of the tax that they have on the Prius was kind of crazy.”

Lantzman later found out on a Facebook site devoted to electric vehicle owners that the Prius, as a traditional hybrid, is actually not subject to the tax.

A policy bulletin issued last week clarifies which vehicle owners are subject to the new tax and which are not. The state Department of Revenue says it is working to fix the mistake. In the meantime, you can go to a county tag office to get a bill corrected.

It’s not the first mistake DOR has made in the last month or so related to EV owners, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has previously reported. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/electric-car-owners-zapped-by-georgia-tax-mistake/nmTgT/

My colleague Greg Bluestein also has additional details today about the upcoming end to the popular state tax credit for zero emission vehicles. The final day to take advantage of the EV tax credit is Tuesday.

Submitted photo of Eyal Lantzman standing beside his Nissan Leaf and his Toyota Prius, and holding his ad valorem tax bills. Lantzman was mistakenly billed for the new $200 alternative vehicle fee on his Prius. He will still have to pay the fee for the Leaf.

Submitted photo of Eyal Lantzman standing beside his Nissan Leaf and his Toyota Prius on June 25, 2015, and holding his ad valorem tax bills. Lantzman was mistakenly billed for the new $200 alternative vehicle fee on his Prius. He will still have to pay the fee for the Leaf.


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