"It checks all the boxes," said Weinstein. "I think the more incentives there are to make this change, the more people will be encouraged to buy."
That local interest hasn't always resulted in vehicles being bought in Flagstaff, however.
According to Fitchett, some local car dealerships in the city have said they are struggling with locals buying vehicles from dealerships in other cities, whether because of lower prices, tax incentives, or a wider choice of fuel-efficient vehicles. The Sustainable Automotive Tax Rebate program is designed to provide some level of support to these dealers.
The city has received positive feedback from car dealers since the launch of the new discount program. Some added that they could improve the fuel-efficient vehicle inventory, Fitchett said. Much remains to be done, however, such as: For example, allowing merchants to simplify the rebate process directly, rather than having buyers submit applications individually to the city.
The program managers will ask the city council to make that change next month, Fitchett said, suggesting better access to the fuel efficient vehicles program.
The lowest fuel-efficient tier offers a 0.7% tax refund for vehicles with urban fuel consumption of 35 MPG or more. City officials will attempt to lower the MPG metric in hopes of increasing the number of qualified vehicle purchases in the area.