SUV Tax Break ‘Outrageous,’ Says Alliance to Save Energy

Release Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2003

The Alliance to Save Energy came down hard on the Bush Administration’s proposal to allow huge tax breaks of up to $75,000 for businesses and self-employed people who purchase gas-guzzling SUVs. The proposed tax deduction for purchases of "capital equipment" is part of the president’s economic stimulus plan.

"While tax credits for fuel-efficient cars remain in a congressional traffic jam, it is outrageous for the Bush Administration to give the green light to tax deductions of up to $75,000 for the least fuel-efficient and most polluting vehicles," said Alliance President David M. Nemtzow.

"It is deplorable enough that current law allows certain taxpayers to deduct up to $25,000 when they purchase SUVs. But to propose an SUV deduction of up to $75,000 — saving taxpayers in the highest income bracket nearly $29,000 – in the guise of ‘economic stimulus’ is almost unbelievable. It makes a mockery of the proposed $4,000 tax credit for hybrid vehicles.

"With oil prices reaching a two-year high this week, and the country facing possible price and supply shocks if war with Iraq materializes, the president should be preaching fuel economy, not encouraging the purchase of vehicles that take the opposite route," Nemtzow said. "When all is said and done, energy efficiency remains the quickest, cheapest, cleanest way to reduce our country’s growing and deadly oil dependence and enhance national security."