Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No love from The Man...

I originally posted this on bikecommuters.com but thought it would be fitting here as well...

So I've been preparing my files for tax season and I remember reading something a few months ago about possible tax credits for those that opt for alternative modes of transportation. Digging around to find something that I can show my tax accountant, I was pretty disgusted at what I found.

First off, from BikePortland, I learned that the tax break I had read about did not survive it's initial introduction. Secondly, there's a Hummer tax loophole, that allows businesses to write-off the costs of luxury SUVs at a certain weight. WTF?!

From the MSN article:


Under previous tax legislation, business owners were allowed to select for company use one of several light-truck models weighing more than 6,000 pounds fully loaded and write off most, if not all, of the costs on their tax returns. The law allowed for an immediate deduction of up to $100,000. Sharp-eyed business operators were quick to notice that most of today's sport utility vehicles met the weight limit. Soon, Hummers and Escalades replaced sedans as the business vehicle of choice.


This may be old news for some, but I'm really floored by all this. The tax legislation was adjusted after criticism, but cmon! There were even credits for hybrids, but god forbid they give incentives to people who are doing something positive that isn't part of the industrial-auto-petroleum-government complex.

But, what can you expect when we have tools (and dull ones at that) like this in positions of power....



and this tool as well (bike-related at 4:28):



If these two guys were Park tools, the little blue rubber stamp on their foreheads would be AH-01 and AH-02 (email me if you can't figure out what the "A**" and "H" would stand for...).

I suppose what all this really boils down to is consumption. We as bike commuters just don't consume enough stuff to be on The Man's radar. Or, if we are consuming stuff, it's not the right stuff. It's not big motorized vehicular stuff that uses black oily stuff that puts a bunch of green stuff in the pockets of men with lots of stuff. What's a bike commuter to do to get some love from The Man?

2 comments:

CR said...

I'm pretty sure that legislation was aimed at small businesses, like say, plumbers and carpenters for instance, who would NEED full sized vans and pick-ups to actually to their jobs. It is a crazy shame though that so many who had/have zero need for large vehicles snapped them up for the write off. And there went zillions of gallons of fossil fuel. Now they're stuck with the monster SUVs though and have to fill those voracious tanks over and over. Now that fuel is triple what it was, it might make them think...

CR said...

O.K. I just went back and viewed the tool videos and OMG. Major tool dullness. These guys must be aiming for that banter and wit depicted in so many cinematic depictions of debates in the House of Commons in Parliament. Falling so short. Funny that the one guy is from outside Dayton OH. You know, that place were a pair of bicycle entrepreneurial brothers started a MAJOR transportation innovation...
Let's see, gas costs a lot, america is obese, there's too much pollution... Seems like simple math to me.