The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act (Act) provides tax credits to support the purchase and use of electric and fuel cell vehicles, for both private and commercial use.
While commercial use has been previously limited to include forklifts, bulldozers and similar vehicles, the Act has the potential to expand this to include the commercial lawn mowers used by golf course superintendents. As a result, golf courses
could receive up to $7,500 to replace a gasoline-powered lawnmower with one powered by batteries.
Here’s what is known so far:
For golf’s purposes, a qualified commercial vehicle under the Act is defined as
- Mobile machinery;
- Propelled by a electric motor;
- Less than 14,000 pounds
- With a battery capacity at least 7 kilowatt hours.
Defining “mobile machinery”
The Act relies on an older - and outdated - statutory definition of mobile machinery that appears not to include vehicles under 14,000 pounds; So additional guidance from the Internal Revenue Service will be necessary to clarify that commercial lawn mowers
are eligible for the credit. To make clear that Congress intended this interpretation, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, engaged in a discussion on the Senate floor on Aug. 6 known as a “colloquy”. During this discussion, Wyden said, “ A commercial lawn mower could qualify as mobile machinery, since it performs a similar operation to the purposes listed in the statute”. While not definitive, this colloquy will be helpful in persuading
the IRS to adopt this definition in subsequent guidance.
These are all positive steps to helping superintendents who are interested in acquiring new electric equipment. Expect GCSAA to continue to provide updates as well as advocate on behalf of the industry.