THANKS TO YOU U.S. CONGRESS REJECTS "CASH FOR CLUNKERS" PROGRAM

In recent weeks, thousands of SEMA members and SEMA Action Network (SAN) enthusiasts responded to a call for action urging lawmakers to reject a Cash for Clunkers program as part of the economic stimulus being drafted in Congress. Your efforts were successful. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill are "clunker-free." Congratulations!

Two proposals were put forth and then withdrawn during the Congressional debate. The first was a $8 billion program targeting SUVs and pickup trucks of any year that make less than 18 mpg such as Chevy Silverados, Dodge Rams, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wranglers. The second would have provided $16 billion worth of cash vouchers to individuals making less than $50,000 a year ($75,000 for families) who allowed their turned-in cars to be destroyed. A Cash for Clunker proposal may reemerge later this year. SEMA will remain vigilant in educating legislators on the need to oppose programs that do not spur car sales, reduce emissions or raise fuel economy.

The Senate economic stimulus bill includes a SEMA-supported amendment allowing taxpayers to claim a tax deduction for car-loan interest payments and excise taxes when they buy a new car in 2009. If enacted in the final stimulus bill, the provision should provide a healthy boost to auto sales.

Members of Congress recognize that our industry played an important role in scrapping a federal Cash for Clunkers program. SEMA thanks all member companies and SAN enthusiasts who donated their time and effort to contact legislators. Your voice helps protect our industry and hobby.