Government Affairs News

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:17pm

The U.S. House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to
reduce the cost of burdensome regulations on business owners and job
creators. The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 would require
federal agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis when issuing new
rules.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:16pm

As the state legislatures close down their legislative sessions, the
SEMA Action Network (SAN) resumes its yearly feature highlighting the
best and worst automotive bills of 2011. While some of these bills were
enacted into law, many did not make it through this year and could be
reintroduced in future sessions. Keep an eye out and get ready to help
us support the best and oppose the worst in 2012!

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:15pm

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to provide a tax
credit for converting a used gasoline vehicle into a hybrid. The goal of
the legislation is to help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign
oil. Businesses with fleets of vans, trucks and cars would be the
primary beneficiaries.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:14pm

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing to
begin the process of rewriting the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The
primary concern of some members of the committee is excessive lawsuits
brought by environmental groups to enforce deadlines and force decisions
on endangered species classifications.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:12pm

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to
create uniform minimum standards to cover the types of keyless ignition
controls being installed in many new cars. The goal is to make it easier
for drivers to stop a moving vehicle during a panic situation and to
alert drivers who unintentionally attempt to leave the vehicle without
it being "locked in park'' or with the engine still running.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:11pm

The Internal Revenue Service has set the standard business-mileage
deduction at 55.5 cents a mile for 2012. The rate is unchanged from
when it was last revised in July 2011.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:10pm

The province of Quebec, Canada has drafted legislation to create a
mandatory motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program.  Slated to
begin in 2013, motorists would be required to undergo an emissions
inspection as a condition for vehicle registration.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:09pm

The laws and regulations that govern how SEMA members do business have
an increased and growing impact on the way automotive
specialty-equipment products are made, distributed and marketed. As the
nation and our industry struggle with a still balky economy, SEMA’s
charge is to stay on top of every relevant state and federal matter of
consequence to its membership to ensure the best possible outcome.

Posted on: Monday, January 3, 2011 - 4:25pm

On behalf of SEMA’s Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA),
the SEMA Government Affairs office has updated its compilation of state
laws and regulations governing specialty motor vehicles.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 10:13am

The laws and regulations that govern how SEMA members do business have
an increased and growing impact on how specialty-equipment products are
made, distributed and marketed. As the nation and our industry struggle
with a still-balky economy, SEMA's charge is to stay on top of every
revenant state and federal matter of consequence to its membership to
ensure the best possible outcome. The following are just a few examples
of critical legislative/regulatory issues the SEMA Government Affairs
office was involved with this year.

Posted on: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 4:09pm

Following much-heated debate, Congress approved a two-year extension of
the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all income levels. The SEMA-supported
compromise agreement reached by President Obama and Congressional
Republicans includes a retroactive extension of the research and
development tax credit through 2011, a two-year reinstatement of the
estate tax at 35% after the first $5 million, a 100% write-off on
capital expenses for businesses during 2011 (up from 50%) and a
one-year reduction in the worker’s Social Security payroll tax from
6.2% to 4.2%.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 10:29am

The U.S. International Trade Commission issued the first of two reports
analyzing intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement in China. The
first report outlines the principle types of infringement, which
include illegal distribution of copyrighted works, counterfeit
trademarks and patent infringement.

Posted on: Monday, December 13, 2010 - 1:48pm

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set the standard
business-mileage deduction at $.51 per mile for 2011. The rate is $.01 more than allowed during 2010, reflecting slightly higher
transportation costs during the past year.

Posted on: Monday, December 13, 2010 - 1:42pm

The United States Senate approved the tax compromise “framework” for a
two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all income levels,
set to expire on December 31. The House of Representatives now must
approve the legislation before it can be sent to President Obama to
become law.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 2:28pm

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel has rejected China’s
challenge of punitive duties imposed by the United States on passenger
and light-truck tires.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 2:22pm

Companies that purchase health care insurance and have less than 25
employees may be able to claim a tax credit beginning with the 2010 tax
year.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 2:20pm

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will soon
require that all new passenger cars be equipped with a rearview camera
system.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 2:16pm

As of October 13, 2010, Iowa street rods, replicas and specially
constructed vehicles are no longer required to be equipped with fenders
and bumpers. Previous Iowa inspection requirements for these specialty
cars specified that all vehicles were to be equipped with fenders and
required a front and rear bumper.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 2:14pm

President Obama and Republican leaders have reached a compromise
“framework” for a two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for
all income levels, set to expire on December 31. The lawmakers also
agreed to a 13-month extension of federal unemployment benefits and a
one-year reduction in the worker’s Social Security payroll tax (FICA)
from 6.2% to 4.2%.

Posted on: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 10:37am

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) intend to expand the amount of
fuel-economy information contained on the vehicle window sticker. Among
other changes, the information will now include the amount of carbon
dioxide emitted by the vehicle. SEMA submitted comments in favor of
incorporating graphics, increasing type size and using other visual
tools to help focus consumer attention, a position taken by the
automakers.

Posted on: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 10:32am

In yet another missed opportunity, the United States Senate failed to
remove the 1099 reporting requirement, which was included as a
revenue-raising provision within the health care law. The rule will
require businesses to issue 1099 reporting forms to all vendors from
whom they buy more than $600 of goods or services in any year,
beginning in 2012.

Posted on: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 1:10pm

After months of inaction and missed opportunities, the United States
Senate is prepared to take up legislation to remove the 1099 reporting
requirement which was included as a revenue-raising provision with the
health care law. The “Small Business Paperwork Relief Act” would remove
the requirement entirely.

Posted on: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 11:09am

In comments to a proposed inspection regulation issued by the Vermont
Department of Motor Vehicles, SEMA supported a provision that would
exempt vehicles registered as exhibition vehicles from OBD II
requirements. Under state law, an exhibition vehicle is defined as a
motor vehicle which is maintained solely for use in exhibitions, club
activities, parades and other functions of public interest and which
is not used for the transportation of passengers or property on any
highway, except to attend such functions. SEMA also recommended that
the exhibition vehicle definition be expanded to include a vehicle used
for personal recreational travel not to exceed 2,500 miles per year.

Posted on: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 1:22pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved
hydrofluoroolefin (HFO-1234yf) as an acceptable substitute chemical for
chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. The chemical is intended to replace
R-134a since it is believed to have far less global-warming potential.

Posted on: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 1:19pm

SEMA joined nearly 1,300 trade associations, companies and other
organizations in signing a letter to members of the House and Senate
urging them to pass dozens of expired tax cuts during the
November/December lame-duck session of Congress. 

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