No "Call of Shame" this week, as the following story so put me back on my heels that I can't think of anything more jaw-dropping.
In what may be the most generous taxpayer-subsidized auto incentive yet, the state of Colorado is offering a huge rebate for people buying a 2009 all-electric Tesla Roadster.
The car costs around $110,000.
The rebate? Around $42,000, or 38 percent.
Move over, Cash for Clunkers.
What kind of Rocky Mountain High are they smoking?
According to the state's own website, Colorado offers a tax credit for people who buy vehicles powered by alternative fuels. Part of the credit is based on "the difference between the cost of the vehicle and the cost of the same or most similar vehicle that uses a traditional fuel." According to the Denver Post, the $42k rebate "is 85 percent of the difference between the price of a new Tesla Roadster and the price of a comparable liquid-fuel automobile, in this case a Lotus."
- CNBC Slideshow - Green Cars That Are Red Hot
If you can afford to spend $110,000 on a car, do you really need the taxpayers to thank you so generously?
The state legislature finally figured out the blunder, and starting next year, the maximum rebate will be $6,000. However, that doesn't take effect until after December 31. So buy now!
Look, with that $42,000 cash back, you can buy yourself a second car! One that burns gasoline and pollutes the air! Or reimburse yourself for a one-way first class ticket to Colorado and an Aspen rental as you buy the car and wait for the rebate check. Then drive home. Of course, you'll have to pull over every 240 miles to recharge.
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