Hybrid Car Tax Break Could Take Bureaucratic Detour

New tax credit begins phasing out once an automaker sells 60,000 of the eligible vehicles between now and the end of 2010.

Published: 22-Jan-2006

ou want a tax break on a new hybrid car, you may have to settle for your second choice.

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow on Friday promoted the new tax break for buyers of gas-electric powered hybrids. "Development and use of hybrid vehicles is a key step toward reducing gasoline consumption," Snow said at a Ford Motor Co. research center near Detroit.

The tax break was part of an energy bill signed into law in August and went into effect Jan. 1. But the tax credit begins phasing out once an automaker sells 60,000 of the eligible vehicles between now and the end of 2010.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius sedan is the nation's fastest-selling hybrid, and the gas-stingy sedan is already in short supply at dealers. The Japanese automaker, which also sells two hybrid sport utility vehicles, expects its hybrid sales to hit the 60,000 mark in the first half of this year.

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