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I recently stumbled across these articles:

Tax Break for Hummers
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. Aside from Hummers and Cadillacs, the choices ranged from the Dodge Durango and the Ford Expedition to the Lincoln Navigator and the GMC Yukon.


Hybrid Tax Break is Getting Smaller
You’re an environmentally conscious driver, so you bought a hybrid vehicle to conserve gasoline.
You can save on taxes, too. But the federal tax break for so-called hybrid vehicles is getting smaller and will disappear after 2006 unless Congress extends it.

MSN Article
The Hummer, like many gigantic SUVs, gets about 13 miles per gallon. With gas at about $2 a gallon, and likely to rise further, driving a Hummer is an expensive proposition. Toyota's calculator shows that if you drive 40 miles a day, the annual cost of operating a Prius will be $2,144 less than operating a Hummer.

The demand for the Prius is pushing Toyota to install hybrid technology in other models, including SUVs. Also, it's spurring other automakers to adapt hybrid motors. Apparently, there's even a hybrid version of the Hummer in the works.


Do you think that the gas prices will drive the industry to develop less oil-dependant technology, namely to put the hybrid engines in more vehicles? If not, do you think there is a way to encourage this? (IE: government action, tax breaks, etc?)

What do you think about Bush's tax breaks for gas guzzlers?

Do you think Congress will keep giving tax advantages to hybrid owners, or does the oil industry have their hands too deeply in the pockets of the politicians?
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Rev_DelFuego
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Do you think that the gas prices will drive the industry to develop less oil-dependant technology, namely to put the hybrid engines in more vehicles? If not, do you think there is a way to encourage this? (IE: government action, tax breaks, etc?)

I think that the eventual depletion of fossil fuels is going to give us the final push over to alternative fuel sources. The tax breaks are good, but I don't think they are sufficient enough to offset the cost of the hybrids maintenance down the road. The batteries are only guaranteed for 8 years, but the powertrain of a car is usually guaranteed for about 10. Then on top of that you need to take your hybrid vehicle to specialized mechanics to service them, and since they have more computer parts to work on, the electrical system is going to cost far more. I'll give it 10 years from now before I think we can say if these hybrids are actually cheaper.
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What do you think about Bush's tax breaks for gas guzzlers?

I don't think its a tax break for gas guzzlers, but a tax break for small businesses. Ordinary consumers wouldn't get a tax break, only the small businesses that need these vehicles.
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Do you think Congress will keep giving tax advantages to hybrid owners, or does the oil industry have their hands too deeply in the pockets of the politicians?

I'm not too sure on this one. I think if there is a large enough public outcry they will extend the benefits, especially if they can trace a reductions in pollution du to these vehicle. After living in Houston for so many years, I can tell you it's not the cars producing the majority of the smog in the US, but it's the industries. I think we would better off in focusing our attention to the pollutants they release into the air, and preferably hold them to the Kyoto agreements.
jenreiautter
Yes, there should be tax breaks for Hybrids -- then we can start to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and the international entanglements and wars in oil rich countries.

Yes, the tax cuts should be cut for gas guzzlers, small business or no. Same reasons as above. Why not invest in the new hybrid SUVs as a small business? Then you can get a tax break AND clean up the air and promote peace as well.

I doubt we'll see these positive changes as you have mentioned, the oil companies are deep in politicians pockets, especially in this administration.
deerjerkydave
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Do you think that the gas prices will drive the industry to develop less oil-dependant technology, namely to put the hybrid engines in more vehicles?  If not, do you think there is a way to encourage this?  (IE: government action, tax breaks, etc?)

Your first link states that Hummer sales were up for one month at one dealership in Arizona. Your third link points out that nationwide, Hummer sales are way down. My take on this is that the market is deciding this one with little help from the hoop jumping tax incentives. High gas prices (which is an issue all on its own) encourages people and businesses to go the more economical route. Remember also, most businesses are small and most jobs in this country come from these cash strapped companies who can't afford the higher gas prices.

I find it funny that the automatic conclusion by the news media is that businesses would go out and buy only hummers and SUVs with the tax break (stereotyping that business owners are just a bunch of selfish old misers). It would seem to me that businesses would instead go for a vehicle which best suits their needs. Don't work trucks and vans qualify for the tax break as well? hmmm.gif
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