Today, it’s Illinois’ turn.
Disclaimer: Don’t get your tax or other financial advice from anyone whose online name ends in -fan. This means: do your own homework on this purchase. I’m just trying to get you to think.
Before we begin, close your eyes and imagine walking into your favorite Chicagoland Best Buy. The doors open, beckoning you inside. To your left is Stu, the burly guy who normally checks your receipt as you leave. As you enter, he also would put a magic sticker on the laptop you were bringing to Fred, the Geek Squad guy, for him to repair and copy the hidden porn directory onto his thumb drive. Stu sizes you up as you enter and sees you have no merchandise in your hands. He notices that you are looking straight ahead. He sees your eyes focus on the display in the front of the store: Electric Vehicles at Best Buy. Specifically, he sees the look of ecstasy as you spy this:
Now, open your eyes.
You’ve gotten a glimpse at the future in Illinois, but I have no idea when that future will become our reality. Until it does, none of the tax incentive information I’m about to share will apply to the Enertia. Why? Read on, and all will be revealed.
Illinois has a great program called the “Alternate Fuels Rebate Program” that states:
A Vehicle Rebate applies to the incremental cost of an alternate fuel vehicle purchased from a dealership or similar vendor as compared to the cost of its gasoline or diesel counterpart. The vehicle must be purchased from an Illinois dealership or similar company doing business in Illinois.
The amount of the Vehicle Rebate is for 80% of the incremental cost of the alternate fuel vehicle versus the same type of gasoline or diesel vehicle, up to $4,000.
Translation: If you buy an Enertia from an Illinois dealership or similar company, you should qualify for a rebate for 80% of the difference in cost between the Enertia and “the same type of gasoline or diesel vehicle.”
Brammo has claimed, fairly consistently, that the Enertia is comparable to a 250cc internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycle. For instance, the Ninja 250R has a suggested retail price of $4300 – $4500. The “incremental” cost of the Enertia would be $7995 – $4300 = $3695. In other words, an Enertia buyer is paying a $3695 premium to get an electric motorcycle, rather than a comparably-powerful ICE motorcycle.
The rebate would equal 80% of $3695, or $2956. The Federal tax credit is $799. 7995 – 2956 – 799 = $4240.
So the out-of-pocket on the retail price of the Enertia would be $4240 . . . PROVIDED, however, that you bought it from an “Illinois dealership or similar company.” So far, no such dealerships exist in Illinois.
There are plans to roll out the Enertia to select Best Buy stores in Illinois. Those plans are dependent upon powerful Best Buy people who wear ties almost every day, like Kai Patel, the Executive Vice President of Emerging Business, and Rick Rommell, the Senior Vice President of Emerging Business. Because I’m certain they read my blog each day, I’ll ask them to reply in the comments to the question, “When will the Enertia be sold in Illinois Best Buy stores?”
Just to sprinkle a little rain on your happy thoughts of the future, I want to remind you that certain taxes and fees may apply to your Brammo Enertia purchase in future-Chicago. For example, Illinois has a 7.25% sales tax on items to be titled or registered, but if you lived in Chicago, you’d end up paying about 8.5% in sales tax. That would add about $680 onto the cost. In 2009, the Federal stimulus bill allowed you to take an income tax credit for your sales tax on vehicles purchased that year, but this law has lapsed. I don’t know about fees such as registration/title/license fees that might be charged, but you should consider that. Also, you’ll have to insure your Enertia, buy a great helmet, protective hear, a hefty stick to beat off admirers, and electricity.