As the Senate and House seem poised to pass a final tax plan in the coming days, policy pundits, journalists, and accountants from all political persuasions have been quick to criticize many facets of the legislation. Amid the headlines about more individual tax brackets, corporate tax cuts, and a larger standard deduction, many lawmakers have successfully snuck other provisions in to the final draft. Here are seven you need to know about – and the legislators behind them:
- “Bonk the Donks” Provision: Congresswoman Karen Handel (R – GA) successfully pushed through a 20% federal surcharge on Wheels over 20” in Diameter. She claims this will improve safety on public roads, especially in the metro Atlanta area.
- Stick Figure Child Tax Credit: In addition to doubling the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000, Senator Marco Rubio (R – FL) has ensured that taxpayers will be eligible for an additional $25 credit for each stick figure child on their vehicles at the time of annual registration.
- Adhesive Porthole Vent Deduction: To help ensure the working poor can continue to afford vehicular necessities, Texas Democrat Al Green will allow taxpayers with any reportable income to deduct up to 50% of the cost of adhesive “port hole” vents (subject to a $500 maximum).
- Ban on Bumpstops (California Only): Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D - CA) of Oakland has proposed banning the use of suspension “bumpstops,” which she claims encourages people to excessively lower their cars to unreasonable levels. She also believes this will lead to better road quality through normal public outcry. She unsuccessfully lobbied for a ban on exhaust “whistle tips” last year and continues to trip about the Flowmasters.
- Earned Tornado Fuel Saver Tax Credit (ETFSTC): West Virginia’s Joe Manchin (R) has successfully carried out the wishes of the late Senator Robert Byrd in ensuring equal, free access to the Tornado Fuel Saver, a popular 1990s-era device from TV infomercials. Senator Byrd had been pushing for this legislation for more than 15 years, claiming it was the most amazing invention he had seen in his lifetime.
- Corporate Fleets - Accelerated Depreciation for VW: All C- and S-Corporations will now be able to accelerate vehicle depreciation on a one-year schedule (vs the typical 3-5 years) if they purchase any Volkswagen Group products from 2018-2020. This change will help align amortization rates with market values for those vehicles.
- Subsidies for Gasket Removal: All vehicle owners earning $500,000 or more a year will be eligible for free removal of valve cover gaskets and transmission seals as part of a Republican-led push for more so-called Trickle Down Policies. GOP proponents claim that such policies will lead to job creation in the kitty litter and solvent industries, which should provide economic benefits for decades to come.