Saturday, February 14, 2009

Recreational vehicles part of stimulus package

Motor homes were added to the list of things buyers can get federal tax breaks for, courtesy of lawmakers and lobbyists who won eleventh-hour additions to the stimulus bill to help home-state industries.

Tax deductions for recreational vehicles were added to the compromise $787 billion stimulus package that lawmakers were hoping to complete as early as Friday. An earlier version of the language, included in the Senate-passed stimulus, only applied to passenger automobiles and light trucks.

Two Indiana Democrats - Sen. Evan Bayh and Rep. Joe Donnelly - won the same benefits for recreational vehicles, many of which are made in Indiana. Top manufacturers in Indiana include Coachmen Industries Inc., Damon Corp., Gulf Stream Coach and Dynamax Corp., and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association lobbied for the provision.

Much of the state's motor home industry is focused around Elkhart, Ind., which calls itself the "RV Capital of the World." President Barack Obama visited Elkhart Monday as he pressured Congress to quickly approve the stimulus legislation. Unemployment in that part of the state exceeds 15 percent, according to state officials.
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