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California To Implement Income Cap On Green Car Rebates

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Associated Press

A Nissan Leaf electric vehicle charges at a vehicle charging station outside Bloomingdales at the Fashion Valley mall in San Diego, Nov. 13, 2013.

California's rebate program for electric vehicles will soon cut off higher-income green car buyers.

The program is implementing an income cap starting on March 29, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday. Single tax filers who earn $250,000 will not qualify for rebates on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

The income cap rises to $340,000 for head-of-household filers and $500,000 for joint filers. The changes come as critics have accused the rebate program of being a subsidy for the rich.

Meanwhile, low- and moderate-income residents will be eligible for an additional $1,500 in rebates.

California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols said the increase will help to ensure that more drivers in communities most impacted by air pollution can benefit from clean vehicles.

"And more ultraclean and zero-emission vehicles on our roads mean cleaner air for all Californians," she said.

Current rebates are $1,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and $2,500 for battery electric vehicles.

Applicants must have household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify for the $1,500 increase. For an individual, the gross annual income limit is a little under $35,640. For a household of four, it's $72,900, the Bee reported.

Since 2010, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project has issued more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,000 vehicles.

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