Merry Christmas from Annapolis!
So much talk about the failing American automotive industry, and the suggestion that there should be another bailout, have caused me to take a closer look at what we can do at the state level to help our local car dealers and their employees and the local auto parts manufacturers.
First, as you probably already know, I do not support another bailout, including that for the auto industry. From talking to local dealers, it is clear to me that the bailout would do nothing locally to help Marylanders. So I am drafting legislation to suspend the 6% new car tax on American-built cars and trucks from the Big Three auto makers for a 90-day period, starting in the middle of February 2009. This will give an instant rebate to the purchaser of the vehicle, who of course would be a Maryland taxpayer. With the discounts that American auto dealers are already offering, this will add another 6% to that discount, making the average discount about 20%. As one dealer told me, that should be enough incentive to help carry them through this economic downturn and prevent them from having to make additional layoffs. The cost of these layoffs to all Marylanders would greatly outweigh the cost of suspending the tax for a short 90-day period.
I hope to meet some time this week with Mr. Kitzmiller from the automotive dealers association to work on a plan to promote new cars for sale and this important piece of legislation, which is not a hand-out or a hands-up approach, but instead is a 90-day hands-off of the auto industry to help them recover on their own.
The average taxes on a new car range from $1500 to $2000, and in most cases you cannot finance that cost related to purchase. So in reality what this bill does is put that money into the purchaser’s hands as a down payment — without the State spending a dime.
Delegate, District 7