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Conference Committee Version of Economic Stimulus Bill Includes Motorhome Sales Incentive

In news that marks a substantial legislative victory for the RV industry, RVIA has learned that the conference committee final version of the $789 billion economic stimulus package includes a provision to specifically help the RV industry.

 

Motorhomes are included in a tax provision that allows a portion of the sales or excise tax paid on the purchase of a new motorhome to be deducted. The deduction is attributable to taxes applying to the first $49,500 of the purchase price.  Individuals with an adjusted gross income of up to $125,000 and joint filers with an adjusted gross income of up to $250,000 are eligible for the deduction.

 

The inclusion in the legislation of a sales or excise tax deduction for motorhomes is a significant accomplishment for the RV industry, particularly since there were no RV sales incentives in either the House or Senate versions of the stimulus bill. Congress is expected to vote on the final version of the bill today, and an approved bill is expected to make it to President Obama's desk for signature into law as early as Monday, February 16. 

 

RVIA Vice President of Government Affairs Dianne Farrell said, “the RV industry is especially thankful to Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), Congressman Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) who, along with their staffs, have worked tirelessly over the past several weeks to ensure that the RV industry is included in the stimulus legislation. Their efforts on behalf of their constituents will make a real difference for the industry.”

 

She added, “RVIA worked with government affairs consultants, member companies, state RV associations, RVDA and RV dealers to ensure that the RV industry received help from the economic stimulus package. We are thankful to all of our partners for their commitment to this effort.”

 

TALF Funding Increased
In another positive development, RVIA succeeded in having RV consumer loans and dealer floor plan loans added to the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).  RVIA argued to policy makers that the lack of credit was reaching a critical stage and noted that if consumers and dealers can't borrow money to buy product, manufacturers will plunge into further financial difficulty. 

 

The Federal Reserve Board's February 6 announcement to include RV loans will stimulate new lending to RV buyers and dealers and was a significant industry victory.  The government has announced that they will purchase securitized RV loans along with car loans, student loans and other consumer loans.  Financial institutions will be encouraged to make RV floorplan and consumer loans because they can be assured a secondary market exists for those loans. Thus, this TALF facility will attract investors back into the securities market and will stimulate demand for new loans to be securitized. 

 

Also of interest, on February 10 the Federal Reserve Board announced a substantial expansion in the TALF program.  The expansion could increase the size of TALF from $200 billion to as much as $1 trillion. Again, Joe Donnelly was a tireless champion for the industry, sending a letter with Congressman Mark Souder  (R-IN) requesting the inclusion of RV loans in the the TALF.  Congressman Peter DeFazio also led an Oregon delegation letter to the Treasury Department and FED making the same request.  And Mr. Donnelly and DeFazio also added language to a House banking bill that, while ultimately did not become law, helped pave the way for the FED including RV loans in the TALF.

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