DENVER (CBS4) – A new bill at the Legislature aimed at clearing up an ambigious tax credit moved forward this week at the Capitol.

The alternative energy tax credit was meant to encourage consumers to buy or lease hybrid cars, but many of those who leased might not have gotten the tax break.

The House Finance Committee on Wednesday passed the bill unaminously.

CBS4 found that the tax credit was being claimed by Toyota in cases of leased vehicles while consumers were told at dealerships it was theirs to claim.

This new bill means the person who is driving the car — whether purchased or leased — will get the credit.

Paul Beck first told CBS4 his story in November after leasing a Toyota Prius.

He was told at the dealership he would receive a state tax credit for the hybrid vehicle, but he instead got a letter from the state Department of Revenue telling him he owed more than $2,300 in taxes.

“I have since set up a payment program of 300 a month to pay this back,” he said.

Beck, along with others, learned the credit was redeemed by Toyota Financial Services.

Pabon says the new bill would clearly give the alternative fuel tax credit to the consumer, the way it was originally intended.

“This is not what the Legislature ever contemplated in creating these tax credits so what this bill does is make a wrong, right,” said Rep. Dann Pabon. “The whole idea here is to get more alternative energy vehicles and hybrid vehicles on the road, not to give a bank in California a tax credit.”

Almost 200 people ended up owing more than $300,000 to Colorado’s Department of Revenue over the tax credit issue.

  1. Linda Saylor says:

    I got taken in by a Toyota dealership when I bought a Lexus RX 400h and found out the first owner who only kept it 6 mo. took the hybrid tax credit. I have had the car 3 years and got nothing. That loophole should be closed and you don’t get the money until you’ve had the car at least the entire first year. Otherwise, the loophole is still taken by the unscrupulous. Fix it.

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