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Americans for Tax Reform recently published a new policy brief warning that Democrats’ battery production tax credits for electric vehicles could cost taxpayers nearly $200 billion, over five times higher than the original $30.6 billion estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, issued the following statement accompanying the release of the brief:

“Democrats’ reckless tax and spend bill is even worse than we thought. Handouts for luxury EVs might cost taxpayers $100 billion more than were were led to believe. This should be the first item on the repeal list to fund future tax cuts.”

The policy brief was authored by Vance Ginn, Ph.D., Senior Fellow of Americans for Tax Reform.

Below is an executive summary of the policy brief. You can find the full version of the study here.

Executive Summary

The U.S. Congress passed and President Biden signed into law the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA) in August 2022. The IRA includes many provisions which are now estimated to cost $1.2 trillion over a decade per Goldman Sachs’ more recent analysis compared with the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) initial estimate of $391 billion.

Part of this substantially higher estimated cost is because of the new cost estimates for tax credits for electric vehicle (EV) battery cells and modules manufactured in the U.S. Instead of the initially estimated cost of $30.6 billion by the CBO, new estimates based on more precise projections and growth in the EV market indicate that this could be as high as $196.5 billion (540% higher than initially estimated) per the Mercatus Center and Goldman Sachs. This higher estimate appears more accurate than the original CBO estimate given the large increase in the EV market and the expanding use of these tax credits.

Given that the cost of these subsidies passed by Congress and communicated to the public appears to be substantially undervalued, the CBO and other nonpartisan agencies and committees responsible for providing Congress with accurate revenue estimates and sound economic analysis should reexamine their calculations.