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2016 Leaf SV vs. WA state sales tax


Active Member
Mar 4, 2013
Redmond, WA
So it looks like if you want a 107 mile Leaf, you need to buy at least a Leaf SV.

However, the SV price is $35050, which is $50 more than the WA state sales tax exemption. That raises the price of the Leaf by $3500! Argh.

Even if Nissan realizes this and gives a $51 discount on the SV, and you were to add a single option (e.g. a camera), it will be over that again.

Does anybody know if you do a trade-in how this rule works? So e.g. if I trade in a $5000 vehicle, would it still be considered over the cutoff, or does it lower the vehicle price to $30'000, making it eligible? I know you'd only pay sales tax on $30'000, but I'd really prefer it to be exempt of course...

Any other way around this ridiculous situation?
It is ridiculous, and I have notified my legislators. There simply weren't the votes last session, but i hope we can turn the hard cap in to a soft one this year to avoid this type of silliness.

A trade-in does not affect the sales price, so that does not help.

Your only hope is to convince the dealer to lower the price. They will probably be willing on an SV. But boy, they sure do not want to sell the SL now!
This was of the most ridiculous pieces of legislature to go through in a while. Why don't they just exempt the first $35,000 of every EV purchase from sales tax? Baffles the mind.

Most likely the dealer lobby sought to prevent or reduce Tesla sales. They indirectly hurt pretty much every EV available which also may have been their intended goal since EVS require less maintenance and dramatically harm their oligopoly . . . Er business model.
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We bought a 2016 Leaf SV with Premium for $34'700 last night (down from MSRP $36'620 / dealer invoice $35'400). So managed to get around the $35'000 limit without any real issue. Yay!

So it seems like if you're ~$2000 or less over, you can just "negotiate" it down to below $35k.

But speaking to the salesman, it does seam that dealers generally found a way even to sell SL Premiums (MSRP $39'210) below the $35'000 WA sales tax limit. From what I can read between the lines it seems they sell the car and the leather seats as two separate items.

Actually, at the moment if you finance through Nissan you get 0% interest and a $3'500 rebate, so we've only actually paid $31'200. That rebate would also put the final price you have to pay for an SL under $35'000 - BUT it doesn't lower the invoice price. So dealers still need to be creative to get the SL under $35'000. I'm not sure why Nissan plays this financing game - they don't make any additional money on 0% financing - why not just lower the price of the car?