Ada Electric Cars sues tax commission

ENID, OKLAHOMA - An electric vehicle dealer has asked a Garfield County judge to prevent the Oklahoma Tax Commission from enforcing an emergency rule the dealer claims prohibits buyers of his vehicles from claiming a state tax credit for electric cars.

A lawsuit filed in state district court in Enid by Ada Electric Cars names the Tax Commission and its three commissioners — Thomas Kemp Jr., Jerry Johnson and Constance Irby — as defendants, said Roger Gaddis, owner of the dealership.

The tax credit totals 50 percent of the purchase price of an electric vehicle and can be spread over five years.

But an emergency rule passed September 17 excludes electric vehicles whose bodies are similar to a golf cart or go-cart instead of a traditional passenger automobile from eligibility for an existing tax credit as well as vehicles that are principally designed and manufactured for sporting or recreational purposes.

Gaddis said the rule will effectively prohibit people who have already purchased the golf cart-like electric vehicles he sells from claiming the tax credit even though the vehicles exceed federal highway standards for street-legal cars.

"They were engineered from the get-go to be street legal, low-speed vehicles," Gaddis said. "We didn't try to slip in the back door by putting seat belts on a golf cart."

The vehicles, manufactured by Tomberlin, have been licensed with the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission for more than three years, he said.

Ironically, a day after adopting the emergency rule the Tax Commission qualified two vehicles manufactured by a golf cart company, Club Cars, for the tax credit, Gaddis said. He said their specifications match the vehicles made by Tomberlin almost exactly.

"This is a perfect example of government out of control," Gaddis said. "It's time for taxpayers to say to the OTC: 'Enough, I don't work for you, you work for us.'"

Tax commission spokeswoman Paula Ross said commission officials had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment on it.


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