U.S. Sens. Thune and Klobuchar Discuss Issues with Dealers at NADA's Legislative Conference
WASHINGTON (Sept. 24, 2010) - Nearly 500 auto dealers and dealer association executives from across the country gathered in the nation's capital Wednesday for NADA's annual Washington Conference and Congressional fly-in to hear from lawmakers and to address some of the remaining issues as this year's legislative calendar draws to a close.
Dealers heard from Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who led efforts to prevent third-party financing by dealers from becoming entangled in the Wall Street reform bill.
“Sen. Brownback and Rep. Campbell fought long and hard against unnecessary and burdensome regulations that would have made auto financing more costly,” said NADA Chairman Ed Tonkin. “Because of their efforts, consumers will still be able to find affordable financing at auto dealerships, with effective consumer protections.”
NADA's legislative staff highlighted key issues for dealers to address in meetings with their members of Congress. Retaining existing tax cuts, finding a permanent solution for the estate tax and eliminating the new-car and -truck tax contained in the House vehicle safety bill were at the top of the agenda.
Also speaking to the assembly of dealers were two pro-business, U.S. senators: John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“You are the kind of hard working entrepreneurs who are out there creating real jobs and generating value,” Sen. Klobuchar said.
Sen. Thune discussed a range of policies coming out of Washington, including potential tax increases that could take effect at year-end if Congress fails to extend the current tax rates, which directly impacts auto dealers.
“Our problem isn't that we tax too little, it's that we spend too much,” said Thune, referring to Congress.
Thune said another challenge facing small businesses and job creators is the 1099 tax-reporting mandate included in the recently enacted health care bill. This provision requires business owners to file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service every time they do $600 worth of business with a supplier or contractor. According to the IRS's own internal watchdog, 40 million businesses will be affected by this rule alone.
“We need Congress to repeal the 1099 tax form,” said David Westcott, chairman of NADA's Government Relations Committee, in remarks to the general session.
William Kovacs from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also spoke about the need for a single, national fuel economy standard-a key issue for NADA. Political pundit Charlie Cook and CNBC analyst Ron Insana rounded out the speakers at the general session, offering their insights on the upcoming elections and how politics is played 'inside the Beltway.'
“You guys are the job engine for the economy and community,” Cook told an audience of dealers at the end of his presentation.
NADA also recognized Tim Doran, president of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, for his work and leadership on dealer rights legislation last year when he served as chairman of the Automotive Trade Association Executives.
On Wednesday, dealers headed to Capitol Hill for meetings with their members of Congress. Tonkin urged dealers to take the opportunity and personally thank their members of Congress for their support of financial reform, cash for clunkers and dealer rights legislation.