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Colorado: Sales Tax Exemption for Low-Emitting Heavy Vehicles

  • Feb 1, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Some trucks, but not all, qualify for the Low-Emitting Heavy Vehicle Sales Tax Exemption in Colorado.

Update 1.26.2018: Effective July 1, 2014, the sales and use tax exemption for low-emitting heavy vehicles applies to certain motor vehicles greater than 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Learn more details here.

We Americans like our cars big. We tend towards big ourselves, of course, and we like to carry lots of stuff and people with us when we travel. After all, a hatchback feels awfully crowded when there's a 90 pound dog aboard. Thus the popularity of minivans, SUVs, and trucks.

But in our heart of hearts, we know that our big ol' cars can be hard on the environment. What to do?

To encourage Colorado residents who buy big to buy big wisely, the Colorado Department of Revenue created a State Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Low-Emitting Heavy Vehicles, which it recently updated. It begins:

"Motor vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds gross motor vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that are certified by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or any state provided in the Federal Clean Air Act as meeting an emission standard equal to or more stringent than the low-emitting vehicle (LEV) standard are exempt from state sales and use tax. [§39-26-719, C.R.S.*]"

Local taxes may still apply, but dealers should not collect Colorado state sales tax on qualifying vehicles.

Qualifying vehicles include, but are not limited to:

  • Chevrolet: Silverado 3500HD from 2012.
  • Dodge: Ram 3500 from 2012.
  • Ford: F350 DRV, F450, F550, F650, and F750 from 2011 and 2012.
  • Volvo: VNL, VNH, VHD, VN 430, VN 630, VN 670, VN 730, and VN 780 models from 2011, 2013, and 2013.

The complete list of low-emitting heavy vehicles that qualify for a sales tax exemption in Colorado is available at FYI Sales 91.

*You must navigate to the appropriate statute (39-26-719).

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.