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The House powered up support Tuesday for a bill to create a new $2,500 tax credit to encourage purchase of electric cars. Lawmakers approved HB74 on a 59-13 vote, and sent it to the Senate.

Rep. Lowry Snow, R-Santa Clara, the bill's sponsor, said it will make people seeking to buy a new car "think twice about the incentive," and not only buy a car for transportation but also to "help clean the air."

He said it will help clean Utah's air and reduce inversions. "This is not entirely the answer, but it is one piece of the answer." The tax credit would last for only one year, unless lawmakers renew it.

But Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, called it "more of a feel good bill than an actual productive bill." He said it would have little effect on clean air, and the state should use the $3 million it will cost instead for such things as helping people replace wood burning stoves with cleaner natural gas furnaces.

Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, opposed the bill, saying, "I don't see why were are in the business of promoting tax credits for people to buy good things."

While the one-year credit may help owners of electric cars, another bill, SB139, would pay for such credits by raising registration fees on clean-fuel cars. That bill would raise registration fees on electric cars, for example, from $43 to $138.