KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson doesn’t blame the hundreds of people who lined up outside the Seattle Tesla showroom to put down a $1,000 deposit on a future lower-priced Tesla. He just wishes he wasn’t the one footing part of the bill.
“The American taxpayers are picking up the tab,” he said. “I don’t think the American taxpayers should be subsidizing 20 percent of Tesla buyer’s vehicle purchase.”
Tesla’s new Model 3 vehicle starts at $35,000 — less than half the cost of the automaker’s previous models — and has a range of 215 miles per charge. It’s also not scheduled for sale until late 2017.
The car is currently expected to include a $7,500 U.S. electric car tax credit and, KIRO 7 reported that if the price stays under $35,000, Seattle buyers wouldn’t have to pay sales tax. By Dori’s calculations, that creates about an $11,000 subsidy for the car. While his producer, Jake Skorheim, calls it a “great deal,” Dori sees it as a “scam.”
“The law is a scam because of this whole green energy thing,” Dori said.
Dori pointed to reported bankruptcy of major green energy businesses, such as SunEdison, as proof of his theory.
While the Tesla preorders reportedly hit 198,000, Dori is unimpressed.
“It’s a phony demand because they’re going to sell a fraction of these Tesla that other vehicle makers sell,” he said. “They have figured out a way into scamming the consumer, to just paying the full sticker price no matter how much it is.”
Dori says he loves electric cars and that they get people thinking about being more environmentally conscious, but is skeptical of the green energy industry.
“It’s very cool, I just don’t know why the American taxpayers have to pay a $7,500 subsidy for this vehicle,” Dori said.
Todd Myers, environmental policy director for the Washington Policy Center, told KIRO 7 that giving sales tax breaks on these vehicles doesn’t make sense.
“Giving sales tax breaks primarily to wealthy people, especially when you are taxing the working class, just doesn’t make a lot of sense either economically or for the environment,” he said.
Dori says it’s all a matter of image.
“Oh, but we’re doing the right thing. That’s what the politicians tell us; that we’re helping out,” Dori said. “It’s all about feeling good, it’s not about doing good. That’s all that anybody cares about anymore. I can tell my friends I drive a Tesla and they will look at me with so much envy, and that will make me feel good. And the taxpayers will give me all this money because they will feel good about how I’m helping the planet. It’s all nonsense.”