By The Star Staff
Popular Democratic Party at-large Rep. Héctor Ferrer Santiago proposed on Sunday to investigate creating an automobile tax payment structure based on gas emissions or fuel efficiency as part of efforts to address climate change.
“Motor vehicles are one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions,” Ferrer Santiago said. “Therefore, it is necessary to analyze those measures that can contribute to reducing emissions from motor vehicles.”
The proposed legislation calls for an exhaustive investigation to examine the implications and feasibility of modifying the excise tax rates for motor vehicles contained in Section 3020.08 of Act 1-2011, known as the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011. The goal would be to design the tax rates using fuel efficiency or carbon dioxide emission levels as a criteria instead of the vehicle’s price.
“Puerto Rico must adopt a tax policy to encourage the sale of low or zero emission vehicles,” the lawmaker said. “For this, strategies can be used such as: a difference in rate scales that benefits buyers of low or zero emission vehicles at the point of sale; tax benefits that persist during the use of the low or zero emission vehicle; including the vehicle fleets of private companies in the benefits of acquiring a vehicle with low or zero emissions; balance and readjust the tax regularly to ensure its sustainability.”
“The measure aims to investigate the issue to encourage the purchase of more efficient and less polluting vehicles, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions and, in turn, favoring the transition toward a competitive, innovative and efficient economy in the use of resources,” Ferrer Santiago said.