With business flagging on Main Street and backstreets all across America, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means promptly introduced an emergency tax incentive to begin the new session of Congress. The Auto Ownership Tax Assistance Act, which is designed to relieve consumers, stimulate automobile sales and stem job loss would make sales tax and interest payments on car loans tax deductible retroactively from November 12, 2008 through January 1, 2010.
"Providing loans to the American automakers was an important step in reviving America's auto industry, but much more needs to be done," stated Pascrell. "The number of cars we manufacture domestically is immaterial if nobody is buying. The Auto Ownership Tax Assistance Act provides a timely, temporary and targeted boost for consumers and the retailers that employ over one million Americans."
Under the legislation, tax deductions would be limited to financing at or below $49,500 and would only be available to individuals with an income less than $125,000 and families with a combined income of less than $250,000. The deductions are estimated to save a family about $1,320 on a $25,000 car.
Pascrell recently hosted a roundtable discussion with local car dealership owners and managers to discuss the struggling auto industry and field recommendations to assist the auto industry from the bottom-up. Following the meeting, Pascrell wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting that assistance for local dealers be included in any package designed to boost the auto industry.
Car dealerships currently employ 1.1 million people nationwide. This year 700 dealerships have closed or are on the brink of shutting down leading to the immediate potential loss of 37,000 jobs.
"Millions of Americans rely on the retail auto industry for their livelihood and financial security," stated Pascrell. "It is critical that Congress take a bottom-up, Main Street approach to relieving the ailing auto industry by supporting these common sense emergency tax deductions."
The Auto Ownership Tax Assistance Act gained bicameral, bipartisan support in the prior session of Congress. It was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Barbara Mikulksi (D-MD) and Kit Bond (R-MO).