New Bill Would Repeal Gas-Guzzler Tax; NLA Urges Grass-Roots Support

Posted on July 31, 2003 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

WASHINGTON – A Michigan congressman, Rep. Dave Camp, R-MI, and eight co-sponsors introduced a bipartisan measure in the U.S. House that would repeal the limousine gas guzzler tax.

The bill, HR 2662, is the first time a stand-alone bill addressing the gas guzzler tax has been introduced in Congress, noted Tom Mazza, National Limousine Association executive director. He added that it is also “the first time we’ve ever had a legitimate shot at wiping it off the books.”

The NLA has faxed a letter to all NLA members asking them to contact their representatives in support of the measure (see below).

The NLA fax also asks members to contact their senators urging them to introduce a similar measure in the Senate. Mazza said NLA officials are hopeful that at least one senator would do so in the coming weeks.

The tax, which ranges from $1,700 to $2,100 per vehicle and is based on gross vehicle weight, is imposed on coachbuilders. They, in turn, pass along that cost to the operators who purchase their vehicles.

The NLA noted that the tax has cost the limousine industry more than $50 million since it was imposed more than 10 years. The tax was initially aimed at several industries, including yacht and recreational vehicle builders, but has since been lifted for all but limousines.

Camp’s bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. Co-sponsors are Reps. Robert Andrews, D-NJ, Roy Blunt, R-MO, Mac Collins, R-GA, Mark Foley, R-FL, Johnny Isakson, R-GA, Robert Menendez, D-NJ, Bill Pascrell, D-NJ, and Mike Rogers, R-MI.

Introduction of the measure follows a lobbying campaign that has been conducted by NLA officials. A contingent of NLA leaders visited the Capitol in May to push for the measure and received a favorable response from some congressional officials.


NLA Urges Letter-Writing Campaign

The NLA’s fax to members urged them to write a letter to their U.S. senators and representative urging support of the measure. The NLA suggested this wording:

Dear ____

I am a business owner in __________ who operates a luxury transportation company. Despite the devastating effects of 9/11, our company has survived and we continue to provide jobs and opportunity in our community.

Since 1990, our industry has paid the Gas Guzzler Tax on stretch limousines. This tax, based on gross vehicle weight, has added $1,700-$2,100 to each vehicle purchase. According to the National Limousine Association, this has meant a little over $50 million to the general fund of the U.S. government. This tax was determined to be a hardship for both yacht builders and RV builders and both industries are exempt.

Our industry is strictly “Mom and Pop,” with more than 80% of operators nationwide reporting less than $200K per year in gross revenue. This tax is an unfair burden on small business. Congressman Camp has introduced HR 2662 to restore the exemption (IN LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN:) Would you please sign on and co-sponsor this bill? (IN LETTER TO SENATOR:) Would you please consider introducing comparable legislation on the Senate side.

Your signature, address etc.

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