A bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this month that seeks to offer a $10,000 incentive for low-income families to trade in their old cars for newer, more fuel efficient models. First, a few details: eligible individuals are those who earn less than $25K per year (or $40K for families). Eligible automobiles include those made by manufacturers with US operations that have assembled autos in the US throughout the last 20 years; are rated at 25 miles per gallon or better and are at least 4.9 mpg better than the car that's being traded in. Eligible trade-ins must run, must be at least 10 years old and must be registered in the name of the eligible individual. Trade-ins would be destroyed at the cost of the government. Got that?

We have no expectation that this bill will be passed, but it's interesting to take a look at nonetheless. We've pasted Senate Bill 3737 in its entirety after the break for your reading enjoyment.

[Source: The Library of Congress]

Sell Fuel Efficient Cars Act of 2008 (Introduced in Senate)

S 3737 IS

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3737

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to carry out a program to enable certain individuals to trade certain old automobiles for certain new automobiles, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 11 (legislative day, December 10), 2008

Mr. HARKIN (for himself and Mr. DURBIN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

A BILL

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to carry out a program to enable certain individuals to trade certain old automobiles for certain new automobiles, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Sell Fuel Efficient Cars Act of 2008'.

SEC. 2. PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE TRADE-IN PROGRAM.

(a) Definitions- In this section:

(1) AUTOMOBILE, FUEL, MANUFACTURER, PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE- The terms `automobile', `fuel', `manufacturer', and `passenger automobile' have the meaning given such terms in section 32901 of title 49, United States Code.

(2) ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUAL- The term `eligible individual' means an individual--

(A) who does not have more than 3 passenger automobiles registered under his or her name;

(B) who filed a return of Federal income tax for a taxable year beginning in 2007, and, if married for such taxable year (as determined under section 7703 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), filed a joint return;

(C) who is not an individual with respect to whom a deduction under section 151 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is allowable to another taxpayer for a taxable year beginning in the calendar year in which the individual's taxable year begins;

(D) whose adjusted gross income reported in such return was not more than $25,000 ($40,000 in the case of a joint tax return or a return filed by a head of household (as defined in section 2(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986));

(E) who has not acquired an automobile under the Program; and

(F) who did not file such return jointly with another individual who has acquired an automobile under the Program.

(3) ELIGIBLE NEW AUTOMOBILE-

(A) IN GENERAL- The term `eligible new automobile', with respect to a trade of an eligible old automobile by an eligible individual under the Program, means a passenger automobile that--

(i) has never been registered in any jurisdiction;

(ii) was manufactured by an automobile manufacturer that has--

(I) operations in the United States, the failure of which would have a systemic adverse effect on the overall economy of the United States or a significant loss of United States jobs, as determined by the Secretary; and

(II) operated a manufacturing facility that produced automobiles or automobile components in the United States throughout the 20-year period ending on the date of the enactment of this Act;

(iii) was assembled in the United States; and

(iv) has a fuel economy that--

(I) is not less than 25 miles per gallon, as determined by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency using the 5-cycle fuel economy measurement methodology of such Agency; and

(II) has a fuel economy that is more than 4.9 miles per gallon greater than the fuel economy of such eligible old automobile, as determined by the Administrator using the 2-cycle fuel economy measurement methodology of such Agency for both automobiles.

(B) FUEL ECONOMY TESTING METHODOLOGIES- If a passenger automobile described in subclause (I) or (II) of subparagraph (A)(iv) has not been measured using the respective methodologies described such subclauses, the Administrator may estimate what such measurement would be if the Administrator were to use the respective methodology for purposes of determining the fuel economy under such subclauses.

(4) ELIGIBLE OLD AUTOMOBILE- The term `eligible old automobile', with respect to a trade for an eligible new automobile by an eligible individual under the Program, means a passenger automobile that--

(A) is operable;

(B) was first registered in any jurisdiction by any person not less than 10 years before the date on which such trade is initiated;

(C) is registered under such eligible individual's name on the date on which such trade is initiated; and

(D) was registered under such eligible individual's name before December 1, 2008.

(5) FUEL ECONOMY- The term `fuel economy' means the average number of miles traveled by an automobile for each gallon of gasoline (or equivalent amount of other fuel) used, as determined by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(6) PROGRAM- The term `Program' means the Passenger Automobile Trade-In Program established under subsection (b).

(7) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary's designee.

(b) Program Established- The Secretary shall establish the Passenger Automobile Trade-In Program to provide eligible individuals with subsidies to purchase eligible new automobiles in exchange for eligible old automobiles.

(c) Duration of Program- The Program shall commence on the date on which the Secretary prescribes regulations under subsection (g) and shall terminate on December 31, 2009.

(d) Trades-

(1) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, if an eligible individual and a seller of an eligible new automobile initiate a trade as described in subsection (e) for such new automobile with an eligible old automobile of the eligible individual, the Secretary shall provide to the seller of such new automobile $10,000.

(2) LIMITATION ON PURCHASE PRICE OF ELIGIBLE NEW AUTOMOBILES- The Secretary may not make any payment under this subsection for a trade for an eligible new automobile under the Program if the purchase price of such new automobile exceeds the manufacturer's suggested retail price for such new automobile.

(3) COMPENSATION FOR DELAYED PAYMENTS- In the case that a payment under this subsection to a seller for a trade under the Program is delayed, the Secretary shall provide to such seller the amount otherwise determined under this subsection plus interest at the overpayment rate established under section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(e) Initiation of Trade- An eligible individual and the seller of an eligible new automobile initiate a trade under the Program for such eligible new automobile with an eligible old automobile of such individual if--

(1) the eligible individual, or the eligible individual's designee, drives such old automobile to the location of such seller;

(2) the eligible individual provides to the seller--

(A) such old automobile; and

(B) an amount (if any) equal to the difference between--

(i) the purchase price of such new automobile; and

(ii) the amount the Secretary is required to provide to the seller under subsection (d); and

(3) the eligible individual and the seller notify the Secretary of such trade at such time and in such manner as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(f) Disposal of Eligible Old Automobiles-

(1) IN GENERAL- A seller who receives an eligible old automobile in exchange for an eligible new automobile under the Program shall deliver such old automobile to an appropriate location for proper destruction and disposal as determined by the Secretary.

(2) COMPENSATION- The Secretary shall compensate a seller described in paragraph (1) for costs incurred by such seller under such paragraph in such amounts or at such rates as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(g) Regulations-

(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe rules to carry out the Program.

(2) EXPEDITED PROCEDURES FOR RULEMAKING- The provisions of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, shall not apply to regulations prescribed under paragraph (1).

(h) Direct Spending Authority-

(1) IN GENERAL- There is authorized to be appropriated and is appropriated to the Secretary such sums as may be necessary to carry out the Program.

(2) EMERGENCY DESIGNATION- Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) are designated as an emergency requirement and necessary to meet emergency needs pursuant to section 204(a) of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress) and section 301(b)(2) of S. Con. Res. 70 (110th Congress), the concurrent resolutions on the budget for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

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