Wednesday, October 21, 2009

With A Little Help From My Friends...

Some interesting things sent to me by JaCG readers...

Simon must be psychic. Just a few days ago I sent a link to the YouTube Audi page to a friend of mine. Until I stumbled on it, I had no idea car companies were doing things like this. After finding the Audi site, I looked for a BMW site. They had one, too. Tonight, out of the blue, Simon sent me a link to the similar Saab site. In short, car companies are using YouTube to promote their brand. It's a good, entertaining idea...

The Saab Channel
The BMW Channel
The Audi Channel

Check them out, they're all very interesting.
....
This past weekend I wrote about donating cars to charity. I mentioned in the post that your donation may be tax deductible, but to check with your accountant. JaCG reader, Brandes, sent me the following...

Dave, I wanted to "make you privy to the situation" (as my old NCO used to say) about charitable donations. I have firsthand knowledge of this because I live near a regional Salvation Army auto resale facility. Selling cars was the biggest part of their revenue stream for a long time, and locally (Sonoma County) generated about $1.5 million for them. They had a constant stream of interesting cars, and a professional manager. Then, about 3 or 4 years ago, Congress changed the tax law. Previously, people would find themselves upside down in exactly the sort of car that you and I like, and they knew that they would never be able to recover, or even sell it, in some cases. So, they donated it to the charity and took the high Blue Book deduction. The tax law changed on a January first, and on New Year's Eve I took myself up to the lot, which was overflowing with cars. I bought a XJS V12 for $900. I took a pass on the Quattroporte and the 928, as I already had these and had quite enough on my hands. I also bought an immaculate MGB for $1k and a Spitfire for even less. It used to be a place to find really cool cars. However, since the tax law change, there are no donations, period, except for clapped out old wrecks. The new tax law specifies that the donor can only deduct the actual amount that the charity sells the vehicle for, or $500, I believe. This has a crippling effect on the local Salvation Army. Yes, some people abused the system previously, but as is always the case, the poor and disenfranchised pay. So now you know.

All good things must come to an end, I guess. Like so many other things in life, all it takes is a few people abusing the system to ruin it for all of us.

That's interesting that the Salvation Army in Sonoma sells cars. I've never seen that before. That's probably a good thing. There is a Salvation Army store across the street from where my business is located. A 900.00 Jag? A $1,000.00 MGB? A Maserati Quattroporte? How long do you think it would be before I just stopped going to work and started hanging out at the Salvation Army? Good god, I'd be broke in a month.

A big thanks to Simon and Brandes. If you see something of interest, send it to me at contactATjustacargeek.com.

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