Wednesday, April 1, 2009

President Obama Extends Tax-Breaks to Bicycles

You may have read in the Wall Street Journal or elsewhere that President Obama has approved a "measure in the recent giant federal-stimulus package allows consumers to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes on a new car purchase."

Bicycle advocates and the bike industry were staggered, shocked, and awed, when today President Obama indicated that he would extend the deduction to purchasers of new bicycles and offer additional tax credits.

In a statement Obama said
while we realize that the auto industry is in dire straits, and that the interpenetration of the auto supply chain into the entire economy is of such magnitude that the auto industry must be propped up, we also realize that the future of transportation does not, and cannot, rely on petroleum. The most efficient vehicle ever invented is the bicycle and the millions of bicycle shop owners across the country, most of them small business owners with deep connections in their communities, will appreciate the additional jobs this measure will produce.
Andy Barke, League of American Wheelmen president, said,
President Obama, legions of American wheelmen appreciate the gesture. As the nature of the global economy changes, and as the world heats up, a return to better times will be central: the 19th century values of self-reliance and simpler technology will be vital parts of a new, cleaner, more local economy.
Neither the IRS nor the Congressional Budget office have released figures for the projected increases in bicycle sales.

Since Oregon has no sales tax, the impact here is expected to be minimal. Nevertheless, local retailers and mechanics expect additional business from the nation-wide surge in interest.

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