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Lawmakers seek tax break for car dealers facing supply troubles

Laura Weiss, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Automotive News

Kildee’s bill has nine Democratic co-sponsors, and seven Republicans signed on including Arrington, a fellow Ways and Means member.

Other co-sponsors include those who own car dealerships themselves, including Ways and Means GOP Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Roger Williams, R-Texas. Virginia Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., a Ways and Means Democrat whose family owns dealerships across Northern Virginia, is another co-sponsor.

Another Ways and Means member, Rep. Carol Miller, R-West Virginia, isn’t on the bill but signed Kildee’s November letter. Her husband owns a string of dealerships across West Virginia and one in Charlotte, N.C.

A companion Senate bill to Kildee’s is also in the works. Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is planning to introduce legislation, his office confirmed.

Brown also led letters to Treasury urging them to grant car dealerships relief, including a February letter with Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden of Oregon and 18 other Senate Democrats. Finance Committee member Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina led 32 Senate Republicans in their own letter pressing for relief for dealerships from the Biden administration.

Alongside the auto dealers group, the biggest U.S. trade association for automakers, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, is also pushing for relief. The group represents companies that produce 99 percent of cars and light trucks sold in the U.S., and says new vehicles can contain up to 3,000 microchips.

 

The organization’s data shows month-end inventory of light vehicles began to decline in early 2021, and stayed far below 2019 and 2020 levels throughout most of the year.

Other groups are also weighing in on the issue. CNH Industrial, a London-based manufacturer of farming and construction vehicles, reported lobbying on Kildee’s bill in the first quarter of 2022. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a Milwaukee-based advocate for construction and agriculture equipment makers, disclosed lobbying on the topic too.

In a letter to Kildee and Arrington last week, the American Institute of CPAs, a member group for accountants, announced its endorsement of their measure. The group is among Kildee’s top donors this cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org

While it has bipartisan backing, Kildee said challenges to getting his bill over the finish line include the complexity and relative obscurity of the issue at hand, which he’s working to explain to colleagues. There’s also Congress’ busy to-do list in the coming months.

“The number of sort of issues competing for the limited oxygen in the room is also an issue,” he said. “I mean, we’ve got a lot going on and that makes it more difficult.”

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