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Thursday, August 05, 2004  

Good story on Slate about how big-ass SUVs are actually ILLEGAL to drive on many streets in Cali. It turns out that in whole swaths of some cities (or in some cases, like Santa Monica, WHOLE CITIES,) vehicles over 6000 pounds are prohibited. And almost all of the larger SUVs are over 6000 pounds (the hummer is upwards of 10,000.) "Absurd," you say? Maybe a bit. After all the law banning 3-ton trucks from neighborhoods was really meant to keep commercial vehicles from rumbling through your quiet street. But the thing is, one of the reasons SUVs are so popular is they carry HUGE tax-breaks with them. If you declare that your new "Canyon Arrow" will be used "mostly" for your business then you can immediately write off THE ENTIRE COST (up to $100K) of the vehicle. And that is just on a federal level; the state of California also offers a $25k tax break. So it begs the question, if people are using their "business" as an excuse to get deals on their trucks, shouldn't their trucks be held accountable as business vehicles?

I realise that this law will never be enforced. No denizens of Beverly Hills will get fined for driving upto their houses, but it is fun to think about.

posted by JMV | 8/05/2004 10:23:00 AM
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