WASHINGTON, DC -- Rep Edward J. Markey today noted that Congress has left town for the elections without acting either to remove special subsidies for gas guzzling automobiles or removing the cap on the tax credit for hybrid automobiles.

“For a country that is dangerously dependent on foreign oil, the current tax incentives are a true car wreck,” said Markey, who recently released an estimate by the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee of Congress estimating that special tax loopholes and subsidies in favor of purchasing inefficient vehicles will cost the federal treasury more than $15 billion over the next 10 years. (See http://markey.house.gov/docs/energy_environment/JTC%20Revenue%20Estimate....)

Meanwhile, the Congress has artificially limited the purchase of hybrid vehicles by imposing production limits on Toyota, Ford and Honda.  As a result, starting October 1, the tax credit for the purchase of the popular Toyota Prius will be cut in half (from $3150 to $1575.)

“Try explaining why SUVs getting 15 miles per gallon are exempt from the gas guzzler tax but cars getting 21 mpg must pay a $1200 gas guzzler tax,” said Markey. “Then try explaining why Congress is cutting in half one of the only incentives in the tax code for the purchase of highly efficient vehicles.  Only a Congress that is driven by the concerns of the oil industry, rather than the American people, could concoct such a pro-oil-consumption result in the face of a world trying to reduce its consumption of oil.”

In September Rep. Markey released a report, “Tipping the Scales,” analyzing special tax preferences for inefficient autos such as sport utility vehicles (“SUVs”).  Markey has been a leader on increasing fuel economy standards for cars and SUVs and is the chief co-sponsor of a bill with Rep. Sherry Boehlert (R-NY) to increase fuel economy standards to 33 miles per gallon.

For a complete copy of Tipping the Scales including the official revenue estimate letter of the Joint Tax Committee, go to http://markey.house.gov

October 4, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein