Phone: 630-495-2282 Fax: 630-495-2260 Map/Directions

Dealers hammer legislative goals, meet legislators at NADA summit

September 14, 2012
Nearly 400 U.S. new-car and truck dealers descended on the nation’s capital Sept. 12 for the National Automobile Dealers Association’s 37th annual Washington Conference and fly-in.
The three-day conference included briefings from the NADA, lawmakers and government officials.
Local dealers who attended included Mark Scarpelli who is an NADA director representing Metro Chicago, and Desmond Roberts, an at-large NADA director.
Dealers will met with their members of Congress to discuss issues affecting their businesses, such as extending the current estate tax rates, preserving the LIFO accounting method, and reducing regulatory burdens on dealerships.
CATA President Dave Sloan joined Scarpelli, Roberts and representatives of the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association to host a reception for the state’s congressional delegation. Eight Republican representatives attended, including Reps. Judy Biggert (Hinsdale), Robert Dold (Winnetka), Randy Hultgren (Wheaton), Peter Roskam (Wheaton), and Joe Walsh (North Barrington).
Roberts, Scarpelli and Sloan also met separately with Democratic Reps. Dan Lipinksi (Western Springs) and Mike Quigley (Chicago).
• Legislation passed in 2010 set the estate tax through 2012 at a 35 percent rate and a $5 million per spouse exemption. Unless Congress acts before Dec. 31, the tax will revert to a 55 percent rate and a $1 million exemption. Dealers petitioned legislators to maintain the current tax rate and exemption level.
• The Obama administration has proposed repealing the LIFO accounting method, which many dealerships have used for decades. That would trigger a tax on “phantom income” and strip dealerships of working capital.
Particularly in a fragile economy, LIFO repeal would make it harder for dealers to maintain current employment levels and manage inventory inflation.
• Dealers appealed for Congress to retain the overtime exemption for service advisors. The Department of Labor is attempting to roll back the decades-long exemption despite no changes in the law or factual circumstances that might justify such a change.
• House Resolution 5859, a bipartisan bill, would repeal a mandate that requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to distribute to dealers a booklet regarding vehicle insurance costs. But the Obama administration called the booklet “not useful” to new-car buyers, who rarely request it. The bill passed the House and awaits consideration by the Senate.
• The so-called Right to Repair legislation, dealers argued, is unnecessary. A coalition of aftermarket parts manufacturers is seeking federal and state legislation to force automakers to turn over proprietary information under the guise that independent technicians do not have access to the information they need to make repairs. Recent data from the Automotive Service Association shows that 75 percent of non-warranty repairs are completed by independent repair facilities.