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

Dealers, lawmakers mix at NADA legislative conference

November 15, 2010

Retaining existing tax cuts, finding a permanent solution for the estate tax and eliminating the new-car and -truck tax contained in the House vehicle safety bill were at the top of the agenda of the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual Washington Conference and Congressional fly-in last month.

Nearly 500 auto dealers and dealer association executives from across the country gathered in the nation’s capital Sept. 22 for to hear from lawmakers and to address some of the remaining issues as this year’s legislative calendar draws to a close.

Dealers heard from Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who led efforts to prevent third-party financing by dealers from becoming entangled in the Wall Street reform bill.

"Sen. Brownback and Rep. Campbell fought long and hard against unnecessary and burdensome regulations that would have made auto financing more costly," said NADA Chairman Ed Tonkin. "Because of their efforts, consumers will still be able to find affordable financing at auto dealerships, with effective consumer protections."

Legislative staff of the NADA highlighted key issues for dealers to address in meetings with their members of Congress, and dealers later went to Capitol Hill for meetings with their members of Congress, to thank them for their support of financial reform, cash for clunkers and dealer rights legislation.

Michael Ettelson, vice chairman of the CATA, association President David Sloan, and Raymond Chevrolet owner Mark Scarpelli  met with U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs), and with aides of U.S. Reps. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale) and Melissa Bean (D-Barrington).

Pro-business Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also spoke to the assembly of dealers.

Thune discussed a range of policies coming out of Washington, including potential tax increases that could take effect at year-end if Congress fails to extend the current tax rates, which directly impacts auto dealers.

"Our problem isn’t that we tax too little, it’s that we spend too much," said Thune, referring to Congress.

Thune said another challenge facing small businesses and job creators is the 1099 tax-reporting mandate included in the recently enacted health care bill. This provision requires business owners to file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service every time they do $600 worth of business with a supplier or contractor. According to the IRS’s own internal watchdog, 40 million businesses will be affected by that rule alone.

"We need Congress to repeal the 1099 tax form," said David Westcott, chairman of the NADA’s government relations committee, in remarks to the general session.