Auto tax break in stimulus may drive up sales - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Auto tax break in stimulus may drive up sales

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Holding off on buying that new car?

The government wants to give you a deal.

You can get a tax break for getting behind the wheel, it's all a part of the giant economic recovery plan, and car dealers hope it will drive up sales.

"It's a buyers market," said Todd Deen, Tanner-Deen Nissan.

Auto dealers are happy about the about the tax break for those who buy a new car.

It took effect when President Obama signed the stimulus into law on February 17th.

"There's not a lot of awareness, people are sitting and waiting to hear when this thing kicks in but it's effective as we speak," said Deen.

The tax break gives you a credit for the local sales tax, state stales tax, and the excise taxes on a vehicle up to $49,500.

"And even if it's over that you can still deduct the taxes on the first $49, 500," said Deen.

The break is expected to draw more people onto the car lots, and boost sluggish auto sales.

"The reason I think they picked out industry to help jump start the economy is because automobile sales make up about 20 percent of total retail sales," said Deen.

"On a $30,000 vehicle in this market it's going to amount to 7 percent, that's $2,100 dollars," said Deen.

New cars, light trucks, recreation vehicles, and motorcycles all fewer than 8,500 pounds all qualify for the tax break if purchased between February 17 and the end of 2009.

The deduction has the potential to increase business for the auto industry.

"A lot of people are not aware of that they're sitting they're waiting and hear there's something coming well it's here now so this is the time to get out and do your car shopping," said Deen.

The type of shopping that could save thousands of jobs and help push the country's economy back into drive.

There are a lot of details in the tax break, including a income limit.

Individuals with a modified adjusted gross income of less than $125,000 dollars and joint filers making less than $250,000 qualify.

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