The Biden administration is classifying some of the country’s most elite and exclusive locales as “low-income” areas, making them eligible for electric vehicle (EV) charger subsidy programs.
The administration’s EV charger tax credit program — made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill — is specifically designed to route subsidies to “low-income” or “non-urban” areas of the country. [emphasis, links added]
The “low-income” emphasis for eligibility aligns in spirit with the Biden administration’s wider pursuit of so-called “environmental justice,” which is effectively the combination of social justice ideology and green policy.
Numerous elite hangouts and locales — including Montauk and Fishers Island in New York, and parts of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts — are among the areas that the administration has classified as “low income” and eligible for receipt of EV charger subsidies, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) interactive eligibility map.
Building out a nationwide charging network is a key supporting plank of the Biden administration’s EV agenda, but the charging infrastructure that currently exists is concentrated in wealthier, more densely-populated coastal regions of the country.
The Biden administration’s tax credit program is designed to blunt the costs of charger construction specifically in non-urban, less wealthy parts of the country that would be less likely to install them.
“This tax credit provides up to 30% off the cost of the charger to individuals and businesses in low-income communities and non-urban areas, making it more affordable to install EV charging infrastructure and increasing access to EV charging in underserved communities,” the White House stated on Jan. 19.
To meet the “low-income” definition, a given Census tract must have a poverty rate of 20% or more.
Alternatively, an area can qualify if the median family income is below 80% of the median family income in the wider metropolitan area or its state if a given Census tract is not part of any particular metropolitan area, according to section 45D(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.
In practice, however, the latter definition for a “low-income” area enables places that may not be colloquially considered “low-income” to qualify for the credit by being located in a wealthy state or metropolitan area.
For example, nearly half of the landmass of Nantucket Island, one of the ritziest summer vacation destinations favored by New England’s elite, is eligible for EV charger subsidies, according to the DOE’s interactive eligibility map.
The Vineyard Haven area of Martha’s Vineyard, another destination frequented by New England’s upper crust, is also eligible as a “low-income” area, according to the DOE’s map.
Large pockets of Cape Cod, another pricey locale, are also eligible for “low-income” EV subsidies.
This includes Hyannis, the longtime home base of the Kennedy political dynasty, and Great Island, which features numerous multi-million dollar properties.
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