Motorcyclists reap the tax benefits for going green

A tax credit will be available to those who purchase new motorcycles, thanks to the first stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama.

In an effort to encourage citizens to “go green,” President Obama included motorcycles in Section 1008 of the Economic Stimulus Package, in which they are defined as “qualified” vehicles.

Organizations like the American Motorcyclist Association and other motorcycle interest groups lobbied to ensure individuals who sold and purchased the vehicles were not overlooked in the legislation, said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations.

The new law guarantees that anyone who purchases a new motorcycle, light truck, new car or recreational vehicle, Feb. 17 through Jan. 1, 2010, will deduct state and local sales taxes as well as any excise tax charged in the purchase.

In order for citizens to obtain the tax deduction, the bike must be less than 8,500 pounds in gross vehicle weight and cost less than $49,500.   The buyer must also make less than $125,000 in gross taxable income and $250,000 for joint filers.  However, the deduction is phased out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income between $125,00 and $135,00, and $250,00 and $260,00 in case of a joint return.

“It’s an incentive to make consumers go green,” said Stuart Lackey, marketing director of Tallahassee Power Sports, a motorcycle showroom. “It’s a great deal. Anyone could buy a bike for under $10,000 and save $700 in sales tax.” 

According to the AMA, this initiative may help boost sales for motorcycle companies such as Harley Davidson, which has recently experienced major layoffs.

“Hopefully, people will start buying now and become pro-for the (now passed law),” Lackey said.

Many power sports companies offer payment plans, and although the plan may consist of several year agreements, the tax deduction is still received at the end of that year.

America is not the only country with a stimulus plan to benefit certain motorists, China has one as well.

According Xinhua News Agency, the official Chinese press organization, the Chinese government also has a detailed stimulus plan to encourage farmers to buy automobiles. Farmers who buy light trucks and minivans from March 1 to Dec. 31, would get a 10 percent discount.  Farmers who buy motorcycles Feb.1 to Jan.31 in 2013, would get 13 percent of the purchase price back.

For more information about the Florida Department of Transportation law and its provisions
for motor vehicles, call 850-224-0026, or 850-576-6326.