Arizona Gov. Jane Hull plans this week to sign a bill to curtail drastically the state's budget-busting program of rebates and tax credits for buyers of alternative-fuel vehicles, a governor's aide said Friday, Dec. 8.
But the measure, which would cut program costs to about $200 million, down from an estimated $600 million, won't cure all the headaches caused by the misguided clean-air effort.
'The dealers are absolutely caught in the middle on this, and everybody is just trying to work through difficult situations,' said Knox Ramsey, president of the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association.
If consumers cancel vehicle orders, dealers can keep deposits to cover commissions and vehicle conversion costs, but then they risk alienating their customers, he said.
Under the bill, consumers who lose deposits or incur other costs can seek reimbursement from a $45 million state fund. Dealers cannot make reimbursements.
Lawmakers approved the bill in contentious sessions Dec. 2 and Dec. 4.
The bill says no vehicle bought or delivered after Nov. 30 will qualify for benefits. It also would place new limits on rebate and credit amounts.
Under the original law, passed last April, some breaks exceeded half the total cost of the vehicles.