Illinois Offers $1,000 Rebate for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
If you live in Illinois and haven't bought a hybrid or electric vehicle yet, now would be a good time. On July 15th, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias unveiled a statewide program that will issue $1,000 rebates to Illinois residents who purchase new (or nearly new) hybrid or all-electric vehicles. The state has $2 million available for the rebates, which means that 2,000 rebates will be awarded. The state is arranging the rebates through participating financial institutions as part of the vehicle loan application process, and the rebates will be provided at the point of sale. The state's Web site for the rebate program, called Green Rewards, currently lists 44 participating financial institutions located in 36 cities and small towns across Illinois. See the treasurer's press release and the Green Rewards Web site.
Hybrid vehicles are also eligible for federal tax credits, although the size of the credit varies widely, depending on the fuel economy achieved by the vehicle. The tax credits are also being phased out for Toyota hybrids, because the company has sold more than 60,000 hybrids since the tax credit took effect. Toyota hybrids are currently earning only one-quarter of their original tax credit, and the tax credit for those vehicles will no longer be available after October 1st. The remaining automakers are much less successful at selling hybrids, so the full tax credit is still available on their vehicles. Note, however, that the amount of the tax credit may be limited by the difference between your taxes without the credit and the alternative minimum tax, so you should seek the advice of a tax professional prior to your purchase. See the press release and summary of tax credits from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.