This week the Colorado State legislature passed HB23-1272 “Tax Policy that Advances Decarbonization”. This bill has incentives for many consumer items including electric cars and heat pumps. It also includes a rebate for the purchase of ebikes. This rebate would be available to Colorado residents, regardless of income (we have no idea how many rebates will be available or how competitive it will be to get one of these rebates). Ebike rebates so far have been very competitive, with many, many more people applying to get them than there are rebates available. The state will also be rolling out another ebike rebate program (likely in the fall) that will only be available to low income residents.
Unlike all the other ebike rebates programs that already exist or are planned, this program would require local bike shops to give the customer the discount and then be reimbursed by the state quarterly in the form of a state income tax credit. Bike shops would have to carry the cost of the rebate for 3 months or more, partially due to Tabor laws. This would cause a burden on bike shops. There was outreach done on this with bike shops outside of Boulder County, but local voices were not heard until the bill was already written and proceeding through the state legislative process. Unfortunately, this left us only a couple of days to work on this inequitable situation before the bill was heard and passed.
Community Cycles quickly partnered with the Boulder Chamber to alert Boulder County bike shops about this potentially inequitable situation and to advocate for ways to alleviate the burden on small local businesses.
Community Cycles and the Chamber convened shops, Senate President Steve Fenberg (the bill’s sponsor) and the Colorado Energy Office (the department working on the bill who will be in charge of its implementation) to problem-solve. The final bill was strengthened to concretely require the Energy Office to ensure that a low cost financing program will be available to bike shops. Another thing we lobbied for was a delay in implementation until the beginning of the 2nd Quarter of April 2024. This will allow sufficient time for any additional assistance to occur for our smaller retailers. Also if the program runs into any snags, they can be addressed legislatively before go-live on April 1.
While we are still very disappointed with this bill, we are hoping we can work to improve it between now and the spring 2024 launch. We appreciated the responsiveness of Senator Fenberg, Colorado Energy Office, and the Boulder Chamber to collaborating, and are grateful to have gotten the bill to a more equitable place for small businesses.
How You Can Become Involved
We encourage you to be involved in your community and be a part of bringing more ebikes to Boulder.
- Sign up for our eBike News list and be in the know about voucher and rebate programs as soon as information becomes available
- Join the Advocacy e-news list. Stay up to date on what’s going on. Visit communitycycles.org and look for the signup at the bottom of the page.
- Donate to Community Cycles so that we may be better equipped with the technical, legal and staffing resources to wage these and other campaigns