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Obama budget has benefits for auto industry, EV buyers

Vehicle makers, electric and alternative-fuel vehicle buyers would get new or boosted tax credits.

WASHINGTON – A quick look at President Barack Obama’s budget proposal suggests a handful of changes to programs – as well as at least one additional effort – that could potentially aid automakers based in metro Detroit and elsewhere.

For instance, budget details put out by the Treasury Department indicate a move to increase and make permanent a research and experimentation tax credit set to expire at the end of this year.

As recently as earlier today, William Smith, an official with Detroit-based American Axle & Manufacturing, was telling a congressional subcommittee that research and development incentives needed to be made permanent to allow U.S. automakers and suppliers to adequately plan for the future.

It comes with a big price tag, however: $99-billion in lost tax revenues over the next decade, according to Treasury charts.

That wasn’t all for vehicle manufacturers included in Obama’s $3.77-trillion budget unveiled today.

It would also significantly expand the tax credit – now up to $7,500 – provided to consumers who purchase plug-in electric motor vehicles.


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