Taxpayers who purchased a new hybrid vehicle in 2003 could claim a
tax deduction of up to $2,000 on Form 1040. Unfortunately, this tax
deduction for qualified clean-fuel vehicles is set to be reduced
incrementally for purchases in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and expire
completely on Dec. 31, 2006.
Presently, the tax deduction is available to purchasers of a
Toyota Prius, Honda Insight or Honda Civic Hybrid and applied to
expected models such as the 2004 Ford Escape and a General Motors
pickup due in 2005, which average 50 miles per gallon in the city.
Our priorities seem to be confused when 2004 buyers of H1 Hummers
(9 mpg, city) can receive $100,000 in immediate tax deductions, but
deductions for fuel efficient hybrids are being substantially
As it is, Congress has a poor record of promoting environmentally-
friendly programs. We should be promoting public transportation,
crafting an energy plan -- one that is not written by the energy
industry -- and requiring higher corporate average fuel economy
standards so that new vehicles get better mileage than today’s
The corporate average fuel economy standard for passenger
automobiles is 27.5 mpg, but only 20.7 mpg for light trucks, a
classification that also includes vans, minivans, and popular sport
More efficient vehicles are not only better for the environment,
but they reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Recently, I introduced the Clean Fuel Vehicle Promotion Act, which
would promote environmental preservation by encouraging consumers to
purchase hybrid automobiles. My legislation would extend the tax
deduction available to those who purchase a hybrid in 2003 to
purchases in 2004, 2005, and 2006, thus encouraging purchases as new
My proposal not only has bipartisan support, it has been applauded
by the Sierra Club. The organization issued a statement saying hybrid
vehicles go farther on a gallon of gas to clean up our air, cut
America’s oil dependence and curb global warming. My bill will make
it easier for Americans to bring more clean cars onto the road and
start saving money at the gas pump.
Congress can, and should, demonstrate our commitment to
environmental preservation and to applying new technologies by
maintaining the tax deduction for clean-fuel vehicles. Passing the
Clean Fuel Vehicle Promotion Act is an easy way to prove that we are
serious about preserving the environment.
* REP. BRAD SHERMAN (D-Burbank) represents roughly half of the San
Fernando Valley, including a portion of Burbank.