Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hybrids are great for tax breaks in Utah .... except the Toyota Prius

I have many clients to whom I have suggested that purchasing a hybrid vehicle would generate a nice Federal deduction and a State of Utah tax credit. The Federal deduction is working as it should. The State of Utah however has written the credit so that only one car on the market is excluded -- a Toyota Prius. It just so happens that a client of mine went out and bought a Prius based partly on my advice regarding hybrid vehicles, and because somehow the legislature specifically excluded that one vehicle (for no possible logical reason other that making a trap regarding this credit) my client will only get half the tax benefit he was counting on.

Steve Urquhart, if you are out there could you tell me why has this credit included such a ridiculous provision as excluding a vehicle based solely on the fact that the manfacturer didn't choose to make a non-hybrid version. It is highly discriminatory to disallow a tax benefit to a taxpayer that would otherwise qualify, based solely on the type of vehicle. This loophole is like disallowing the child tax credit because the childs first name starts with the letter P.

I guess this situation would argue in favor of the flat tax. The state can't insert nonsensical provisions into its tax code that hurt taxpayers that get caught in their web.

I must admit that I deserve the blame -- a little more research would have saved me from this situation

To my other readers, hybrid vehicles are great for tax write-off's I just hope you avoided the Prius.

9 comments:

Nathan Daniels said...

That is simply amazing, although not suprising. This is the same legislature who thinks they can actually pass bills challenging the federal constitution. Maybe Sen. Buttars has something personal against the Prius.

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roclin said...

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Th. said...

.

It seems to me that, if anything, a car without a guzzling counterpart ought to be doubly rewarded.

Spencer said...

That is absolutely rediculous.

The Japanese government teamed up with car manufacturers to twist the arm of consumers into buying new cars by implementing shakken tax, roughly $1500 to $2500 to be payed every two years in additionn to the $300 to $500 normal tax. The tax gets higher as the car gets older. The electronics industry got jeleous and within the next two months Japan will be expanding its control by making it illegal to sell electronics over two years old.

I will be careful when I make it back to the States concerning my automobile purchases. Thanks for the heads up.

Sven

brett said...

Dear pramahaphil,

Just wanted to let you know that Pete Ashdown is coming to St. George and Cedar City on March 13-14. Call or email me at the campaign; we would love him to meet you. Thanks for the endorsement.

The Camera Fanatic said...

Great blog.

I own both the Nuvi 660 and the 760, I'm writing this review for people having trouble deciding between the two as the price difference between the two products at the time of this review is about 100 dollars. I'm not going to focus on the feature differences, as that information can be easily obtained from specifications and online reviews. The 660 was a fine product back in 2005-2006, but the new 760 outdoes the 660 in practically everything, but there are some key usability fixes that make the 760 a better buy for the frequent user.

http://tinyurl.com/gnuvi760

1. 760 has much better fonts for street names than the 660. This may seem like a trivial update to some, but the 760's fonts greatly improve visibility. The 660 uses all capitalized text for street names on the map, and the font is incredibly cartoonish and unaligned, something like the scribbling Comic Sans font on the PC. The 760 uses your standard Verdana-like font with street names in capitalized and lowercase letters. The fonts on the 760 are smaller, cleaner and surprisingly much easier to read while driving. The maps end up looking professional, and not some cartoony children's video game.

2. 760 has better rendering in 3D map mode than the 660. In the 660 when you are zoomed in under 3D map mode, the roads close to your car are displayed incredibly large, so large that they run into other roads, making the zoom function essentially kind of useless for dense roads. The 760 does not oversize your roads just because you zoomed in to view smaller roads in detail. This fix is very nice for those who drive in places with dense roadways, like New York City.

3. No antenna on the 760 makes hooking up your Nuvi to the cradle one step easier. On the 660 you need to flip up the antenna before attaching the cradle. For people who park their cars on the street overnight, removing the GPS from the cradle for storage in the console or glove compartment is a must, and it's a lot easier hooking up the 760 to the cradle than the 660. It's hard to aim the 660 to its cradle in the dark as you have to align both the bottom edge and the charge port under the antenna. In the 760, the charge port is directly on the bottom of the unit; you can attach it to the cradle with one hand in the dark easily on the 760.

4. It takes the 660 a good 45 seconds on average (sometimes longer than 2 minutes) after boot up to locate the satellite on a cold start. If you have firmware 2.6 installed on the 760, the satellite acquisition time after boot up is between 10-20 seconds. After the firmware update, my 760 also holds a stronger lock to the satellites than my 660, I can get satellite lock inside my house with the 760, whereas I can't get a lock with my 660 (adjusting the antenna does very little).

5. The ability to set multiple ad hoc viapoints on the 760 means it's a lot easier creating alternate routes (very handy to avoid a specific interstate or a high traffic road). Whereas the 660 gives you just one viapoint.

UPDATE: This GPS is currently on sale at Amazon… now is your chance to buy one, if you haven’t already. You can find the product page here:

http://tinyurl.com/gnuvi760