VA General Assembly skirts Tesla store issue, passes dealer-supported tax bill

VA General Assembly skirts Tesla store issue, passes dealer-supported tax bill

The Virginia General Assembly spent much of its time addressing the stateês $1.2 billion budget deficit. On dealer issues, legislators did not take up legislation to loosen dealer licensing laws because Tesla, the advocate for such legislation, is in court with VADA on the same subject.

Tesla breached its agreement to limit its direct-to-consumer sales stores to one location in Northern Virginia, the one currently open in Tysons Corner. The General Assembly discussed potential legislation on OEM direct sales without dealers, but none was introduced because of the lawsuit. The General Assembly traditionally avoids introducing bills on issues where lawsuits are pending. VADAês suit, with WANADAês financial support, seeks to reverse the decision by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to allow another direct-sales Tesla store in Virginia. A victory by VADA would reaffirm the sanctity of the dealer licensing laws in the Commonwealth.

Legislation that passed the Virginia General Assembly, with support by VADA and WANADA, clarified the taxation of shop supplies. Dealers may buy wholesale parts with a tax exemption. But if they buy parts for use in retail repair orders, they must tax the parts. Under current law, dealers pay the tax when they buy the parts. The new law takes effect July 1.

General Motors proposed legislation on autonomous vehicles, but legislators, along with the Transportation Secretary, said it was too soon to discuss such a measure in Virginia.

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