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Nation's dealers take agenda to Washington

September 22, 2017
Nearly 500 dealers and state and metro automotive trade association executives traveled to Washington, D.C., Sept. 12-13 for the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual two-day Washington Conference. The conference featured prominent speakers and a reception to mark the NADA’s 100th anniversary.
First on the dealers’ agenda during Hill meetings was the preservation of state vehicle licensing and franchise laws in an upcoming Senate self-driving cars bill. As Congress considers legislation to advance self-driving vehicles, any legislation must ensure that the states’ traditional role of regulating motor vehicle commerce is preserved, the dealers said.
With Congress focusing on tax reform, dealers told members of Congress their tax reform priorities. Dealers stressed that overall changes to the tax code should not negatively impact small business dealerships. Dealers support a tax reform bill that includes eliminating the estate tax, treating pass-through entities fairly, and maintaining the last in, first out inventory accounting method nicknamed LIFO. Dealers also outlined their opposition to eliminating or limiting interest deductibility and limiting advertising deductibility.
The dealers voiced their opposition to overbroad recall bills (Senate Bill 1634 / House Resolution 3449) that would prohibit the sale or wholesale of any used car under open recall by a dealer. They said the bills would hurt customers by lowering their trade-in value and diminishing recall completion rates as customers turn to private sales rather than trading in their used car in at a dealer. 
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, attendance for the Washington Conference remained solid, and it gave the NADA an opportunity to highlight its Emergency Relief Fund which continues to provide financial assistance to dealership employees in those disaster-affected areas.