Connecticut Bill to Allow Tesla to Sell Direct Stays Alive

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A bill in the Connecticut legislation that would allow Tesla to open three direct sales locations within the state won approval from the Senate Finance Committee this week.

CT legislature considering Tesla direct sales bill

Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff. Photo credit: Tyler Sizemore/Connecticut Post

Tesla had some good news on the legislative front this week. In Connecticut, a bill that would allow the company to open three direct sales locations within the state was approved by the powerful Senate Finance Committee. There is still a long way to go before any such proposed legislation becomes law, but it is an important step forward. In the 2015 legislative session, the Connecticut legislature voted down a similar bill.

The 2016 version of the bill is still opposed by the Connecticut franchise dealer association and the United Auto Workers. There are two weeks remaining in the 2016 legislative session. Some key legislators remain opposed to the proposed law.

“I’m sure some of the other manufacturers would probably like that same ability to do that, perhaps,” said Rep. Christopher Davis, R-Ellington. He is the ranking member of the tax writing panel. A fiscal analysis performed for the legislators found that passage of the bill would only add about $10,000 in revenue to the state’s treasury.  No details of how that analysis was arrived at are available.

“The only revenue I see here is $10,000 and I believe that that is kicking aside literally hundreds of new car franchisees who should be considered for this opportunity to buy Tesla,” said Sen. Michael A. McLachlan. A member of the Finance Committee, he noted that Tesla recently agreed to franchise regulations in Virginia. “I think Tesla should go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to make that happen in Connecticut, so I oppose the bill as written.”

At present, Tesla has a service center in Milford, a small city in the southern part of the state just west of New Haven. Anyone who buys a Tesla out of state must pay sales tax on the car when it is registered in Connecticut.

Will Nicholas, Northeast regional sales manager for Tesla, hailed the Finance Committee decision. “This vote signifies another important step for Connecticut to embrace American innovation and 21st Century jobs,” he said. “We thank the committee for its support, and look forward to the coming debate in the Senate.”

Source: Connecticut Post, Photo credit: EVannex


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