New Tax Incentives Provide Consumers Relief

Physician's Money Digest, December 2005, Volume 12, Issue 16

On August 8, 2005, President Bushsigned into law a $14.5-billion energy billthat provides tax breaks beginning in 2006,but does not offer immediate relief from thenational average gasoline price of $2.37 pergallon (as of mid-November). Bush statesthe legislation will not solve the energyproblem or high gas prices overnight, butthe 1724-page bill is a step in the rightdirection, aimed at promoting alternativeenergy sources and improving oil, naturalgas, and electricity supplies. For the energyconsciousphysician-consumer, incentivesinclude tax breaks for updating heating, airconditioning, and appliances, with as muchas a $500 credit for upgrading thermostatsor for purchasing energy-efficient appliances.In addition, the bill provides a creditof up to $2000 for installing solar power athome. For those interested in saving moneyon gas, the new auto industry-backed taxbreak provides thousands of dollars inincentives for the purchase of fuel cell-poweredvehicles (ie, $8000 and more) andconsumers can receive full-dollar tax creditfor hybrid vehicles purchased in 2006. Fora complete list of current and future modelsand estimated tax credits, visit www.hybridcars.com/tax-deductions.html. MostUS consumers, though, will feel the greatesteffect of the new law in 2007, whendaylight saving time begins 3 weeks earlierin March and extends 1 week later inNovember.