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Sen. Mikulski Hails Effort in Congress to Stimulate Demand for Autos
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Sen. Mikulski Hails Effort in Congress to Stimulate Demand for Autos

House approves a $787 billion stimulus package
BALTIMORE – U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today hailed inclusion of her proposal to deduct state sales and excises taxes from the purchase of new vehicles in the economic stimulus package.

“Everyone wants to save auto manufacturers, but no matter how much government aid we give to the Big 3 auto makers, they can’t survive if consumers don’t start buying cars,” Mikulski told reporters at the 2009 Motor Trend International Auto Show at the Baltimore Convention Center. “My proposal stimulates demand in the automobile industry so that people go to showrooms and buy cars.

“At the same time, it lends a helping hand to struggling families who need to buy a car to get to work and take their kids to school,” she added. “This is a victory for American consumers and a victory for American jobs.”

A few hours later, the House approved a $787 billion stimulus package by a vote of 246 to 183, with no Republican support. The Senate is expected to vote on the final legislation this evening.

“President Obama said the goal for the economic recovery program is to create and save jobs,” Mikulski said. “That’s exactly what my auto proposal does.”

David Regan, NADA vice president of legislative affairs, agreed. “Allowing consumer to deduct the sales and excise tax paid on new car and truck purchases will help jump-start auto sales,” he said.

Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, and Sam Weaver Jr. of Chevy Chase Cars accompanied Sen. Mikulski on a tour of the auto show. Kitzmiller said a Maryland resident who buys a $30,000 vehicle would be able to deduct $1,800.
 
“Sen. Mikulski is doing this to help the car dealers and she’s doing this to help the consumers who need a car,” Kitzmiller said.
 
Regan applauded Congress for “recognizing the importance of auto retailing to the economic recovery,” and thanked Sen. Mikulski for spearheading the effort to address retail car sales in the legislation.

Anyone who buys a new car or truck by Dec. 31 of this year will be able to claim the sales tax deduction, whether it is itemized or not. The auto sales tax provision is effective the date the president signs the bill into law, which could be as soon as this weekend.

Click here for more details of the auto sales tax provision.

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