John Snow is not very helpful. Of course, it comes as no surprise that the Bush administration can't craft environmental legislation to save its life, but the new tax credit for purchasing a hybrid vehicle is a particularly fine example of bad tax policy. Autoblog has all the details, and point out the biggest fault early in the article:

The law uses a two-tiered formula that considers both relative fuel economy and the total amount of fuel saved -- a system that favors large vehicles.
Hm. So let me get this straight - GM finally rolls out some hybrids, and they're all SUVs, and suddenly a tax credit appears which favors heavy vehicles. Hm. Things aren't all bad - the Prius does very well on the tax credit, according to some estimates I saw. Nevertheless, wouldn't encouraging fuel efficient vehicles make a whole lot more sense?

Oh - and for that final kick in the teeth, the credit is only full value for the first 60,000 vehicles sold - after that it phases out (I have no idea how they came up with this scheme!). So the Prius, with sales last year of 107,897, will run out early on....

Shelby commented:
Heh--bad policy or not, we're taking advantage of it. Kevin's Contour is on its last legs and we've been looking at the Prius for months. Of course, we waited until January to take advantage of the tax credit and our name's on the list (yes, there's still a list in Southern California). We should get our Prius, and big fat tax credit, in February *BEG*. OTOH, if the proverbial "they" sell the 60,000 before we get ours, won't I feel like an idiot? ;) Nah, we wanted the Prius anyway :D.
on Sat Jan 14 07:37:28 2006

David commented:
So long as you were going to buy it anyway, and are willing to pay full price, no problem. But it certainly doesn't seem to be encouraging people to buy more fuel efficient cars (that they wouldn't have bought anyway). I dunno - it's a really mixed bag, and it should have been really simple and straightforward. But I hope you guys benefit - I certainly don't object to someone getting a tax break for a Prius! I can't believe there's still a waiting list - you'd think Toyota would have gotten on that ages ago!
on Sat Jan 14 17:56:40 2006

Shelby commented:
I totally hear you and yeah, we were planning on buying it anyway and didn't mind full price. And we could've had a 2005 right off the lot back in December--it's January with the waiting list :D.
on Sat Jan 14 19:27:52 2006

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