Car dealerships in Connecticut are closely watching to see if the legislation Congress hashes out will benefit them in the long run.
James Fleming is President of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, a group that represents three hundred new car dealerships in the state. He says the dealers contribute plenty to the state's economy by providing jobs and tax revenue including twenty percent of sales tax revenue. Fleming says lawmakers should keep local businesses in mind as they decide whether to loan Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors additional cash.
"What we hope Congress will do as part of that bill would be to restore the deductability of interest on consumer loans. We're also looking for deductability of the vehicle sales tax for example in CT it's six percent. If that could be deducted from your federal income tax again it would encourage people to go into dealerships and start purchasing cars."
Fleming says on a state level, the Automotive Retailers Association would also like to see the Legislature reduce sales tax in Connecticut between now and Christmas to encourage people to buy cars.
"Because sales are down. We have credit available at our dealerships in New England and Connecticut. Our banks were very careful during the sub-prime loan issues not to make those types of loans. We want to encourage consumers to purchase these vehicles and ultimately, that is what's going to help Detroit."
The Association is optimistic provisions that benefit local businesses will be worked into the bailout since two members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation, Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Chris Murphy are on Committees drafting the legislation.