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American government grants tax deduction on Hummers

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    The following article, attributed to David J. Cieslak of the Arizona Republic, appeared on pages A1 and A2 of the thursday, January 1, 2004 edition of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1 9:10 AM
      The following article, attributed to David J. Cieslak of the Arizona
      Republic, appeared on pages A1 and A2 of the thursday, January 1, 2004
      edition of the Arizona Republic. The Hummer is the civilian version
      of the HumVee, an armoured personnel carrier used in both wars against
      Iraq. I suppose it could have some advantage in civilian life over
      ordinary cars in traversing the mud and snow of unpaved and poorly
      maintained rural roads, and its armour would be of some use against the
      gun battles that sometimes occur in American cities. For most of their
      owners, however, the Hummer is a status symbol--conspicuous consumption
      of both money and petrol. Now, for some strange reason, the federal
      government is allowing the purchase of a Hummer to be a tax write-off.
      Why subsidize such wasteful use of petrol? Perhaps they want to create a
      market for the surplus HumVees that may soon be on the market after the
      American troops are forced out of Iraq :-)

      --Kevin

      TAX BREAK HAS HUMMERS ROLLING OFF LOTS

      Here's the perfect way for a Valley business to truly ring in the new year:

      Buy a shiny new Hummer or a fully loaded Cadillac Escalade, then get a hefty
      tax deduction on the monster vehicle, all compliments of Uncle Sam.

      Dozens of wide-eyed customers packed into the Valley's Hummer and Cadillac
      dealers on New Year's Eve to take advantage of a federal tax windfall allowing
      them to buy the oversize gas guzzlers and deduct the purchase from their 2003
      tax bills.

      Dealers said they were selling more than double the average daily number of
      the specialized vehicles, with much of the rush coming as their doors were
      set to close.

      "We're selling a ton of cars, and everybody's having fun," said Bob Monahan,
      sales manager for Lund Cadillac Hummer Saab in Phoenix, who watched 35
      Hummers and Cadillac Escalades roll off his showroom floor Wednesday.

      "It's been great for everybody," said Monahan, who esstimated his average
      daily sales at 15 vehicles.

      The deduction for business owners, approved in May by President Bush as part
      of his federal tax-cut package, gives a deduction of up to $100,000 for new
      or used vehicles that weigh more than 6,000 pounds [2730 kg]. Aside from
      Hummers and Cadillacs, the choices ranged from the Dodge Durango and the
      Ford Expedition to the Lincoln Navigator and the GMC Yukon.

      Dealers across the Valley pledged to stay open late on New Year's Eve to
      handle the rush of customers, many of whom came straight from their
      accountants' offices after receiving advice about the tax deduction.

      "Most of these people have done a lot of research to make sure they qualify
      for the program,a nd now they're coming back and buying the vehicles,"
      said Eddie Espinosa, general manager for Kachina Cadillac Hummer Saab in
      Scottsdale.

      Phyllis Tsai, 27, drove to Scottsdale from Snowflake to buy a new Hummer H2.
      Tsai, whose boyfriend owns a motel in the northern Arizona community, said
      they jumped at the chance to own a Hummer after realizing the 2003 write-off
      deadline was wednesday.

      "To me, a vehicle is a vehicle, but my boyfriend was really excited about it,"
      said Tsai, whoo was the last customer at Kachina before the dealership closed
      shortly after 8 p.m.

      But to Dave Bresnahan, the Hummer is much more than just a vehicle. In the
      eyes of his three sons, buying the "sunrise" orange Hummer for $55,000 made
      him the hippest dad in the Valley.

      "I bought it mostly because my boys think it's cool, and I'm a boy who
      thinks it's cool, too," said Bresnahan, 42. "It's awesome. I feel like a
      king." [Quite a self-damning statement from a moronic American consumer
      --Kevin]

      Bresnahan, vice president of Lex International, which sells customer-
      retention products to car dealerships, said he knew about the tax
      deduction for six months but didn't make a decision until New Year's Eve,
      when he drove by the Kachina dealership in Scottsdale.

      "I didn't go in thinking I was going to buy anything, but I walked out with
      one," Bresnahan said.

      The windfall doesn't come without a price for the government. One expert
      estimated that if 100,000 people utilize the loophole, it will cost the
      country about $1.5 billion in tax revenue.

      Lawmakers earlier this year upped the deduction amount from $25,000 in the
      hopes it would encourage businesses to invest in new equipment sooner.

      The deduction is available for tax years 2003, 2004 and 2005.

      Dealers say the tax break encourages people to buy cars, which contributes to
      a healthy economy.

      "Our customers are speaking to their accountants and making a good business
      move at the end of the year," said Greg Schamp, new car sales director of
      Coulter Cadillac and Oldsmobile in Phoenix. "It's a good time to be a
      Cadillac dealer."

      --
      "The enemy is at home."

      --Karl Liebknecht
      1914
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