Car Rental Companies to be Hit Hard by New Tax Plans

Rental car companies are now being targeted by state and local
governments as a new way to help fund civic projects such as stadiums,
art centers, and convention centers. Las Vegas, Dallas, Arkansas and
Wisconsin have already put plans in to place to tax car renters to pay
for these new projects.

Here are some examples of different taxes and where the new money is
going to. Revere, Mass is charging an extra $10 per transaction for
fire and police stations. Kansas City is charging customers $4 a day to
help renovate their down town area. Dallas renters are charged an extra
5 percent to help pay for the new Dallas Mavericks Stadium, the American
Airlines Center. Arkansas is using part of the 10 percent renters tax
to go toward increasing teacher salaries.

Overall the new tax plans appear to be a gigantic help in funding

state and local projects. While the prices of renting a car may be on
the rise in the .u.s, out of town business travelers and the companies footing the
bill for their travel plans will be the ones paying. This tax plan will continue to provide money for state and local projects to ease in the financial burden.

Why Buying American Furniture Is Environmentally Ethical

Buying American furniture is not environmentally ethical per se, but it is if you can establish the ethics of the furniture manufacturer. The reason for that will be discussed shortly. The whole point is that you must first be sure that the furniture is Made in the USA, and not simply imported. Here are the reasons for these various comments.

American Furniture or Imported?

Large quantities of so-called ‘American furniture’ is imported or made from imported wood and other materials. It all comes does down the age-old argument: is ‘made in America’ the same as ‘assembled in America?’ Also, is ‘Made in America’ the same as ‘Made in the USA?’ Yes it is!

An item of furniture can be assembled in the USA using African or Indonesian wood, French or British textiles and German or Mexican hardware. In fact nothing can be home grown but the company can describe the item as being American furniture, but not labeled ‘Made in America.’

If you don’t think this is ethical, then how about all the American cars made from parts that have been manufactured in other countries such as Japan? Some American plants are no more than assembly plants, putting cars together from parts made in other countries. Some of our furniture manufacturers are the same, while others simply import the entire thing.

Why it is Important to be Made in America

For you to be sure that you furniture is environmentally ethical, you must first make sure that it is made in the USA. Then establish that the raw materials are also American – particularly the wood. It is fundamentally the wood and the manufacture of the furniture that we are discussing when we refer to being environmentally friendly’ or ‘environmentally ethical.’ Let’s forget the semantics – you know what is being referred to.

If you purchase furniture that has been crafted using teak, mahogany or any other hardwood that is a product of the rainforests that are being systematically destroyed, then you are not being environmentally ethical. You are contributing to the destruction of Planet Earth’s ability to breathe. The oxygen we breathe comes from plants – and rainforests are a significant part of that.

There is a very understandable argument that the people of those countries have a living to make. However, they could also make a living by using the wood themselves to make furniture and other goods without completely destroying the forests. Nevertheless, this is not about rainforests, but about purchasing American furniture.

Amish Furniture and Wood Sources

Take the Amish, for example. Amish furniture is hand-made by craftsmen and women in their own homes and local community workshops. The furniture is then transported, mainly by horse and carriage, to a central distribution center. This saves on gasoline and fossil fuels.

The wood comes from forests that are as closely located to them as possible. Sometimes these can be 500 miles away, but are generally closer. That is why most Amish furniture is made from oak, American cherry, maple and other native American woods. Not only that, but the forests are sustainable. This means that felling is controlled, and new trees are planted to replace those that have been used.

All of this is environmentally ethical. So too is the way that most American furniture communities use the wood. Again using the Amish as an example, off-cuts are used to make small items such as bowls, trays and candleholders. They are also used to fashion children’s toys. The wood shavings and sawdust are also used – for packing for example.

How Do You Know if it’s Made in America?

Good question! How do you know that your American furniture has been made in America and not just assembled here?

Next time you are buying furniture, check the label or find who the manufacturer is. Amish furniture will generally be made in the USA, as will many others that are crafted by local communities. If the product or packaging is stamped “Made in America” then according to the Federal Trade Commission regulations, ‘all or virtually all’ must have been produced in the USA or in one of its territories or protectorates. This includes American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico.

If you are unsure, then ask the retailer. They should be able to inform you whether or not your American furniture is genuinely made in America or just assembled here. If the latter, then you can still buy it, but that does not mean that you are necessarily being environmentally ethical by doing so.

History of Hybrid Cars

In 1905, the application for a patent for a hybrid gasoline and electric motor power train brought the hybrid technology motors into existence. At that time the energy saving features were not the main focal point of this dual power model but, nonetheless, the history of hybrid car technology had been born. This application dealt with supplementing a gasoline power engine to the point that it would have an increase in speed to go from zero to twenty-five miles an hour in ten seconds. Unfortunately, by the time the patent was approved three years later, car speeds had already reached this acceleration speed.

There were quite a few people interested in hybrid technology, and some were long before the application for this particular patent was submitted. There were some inventors that realized the effect that hybrid technology could give electric running automobiles an added speed boost if they were combined with the horsepower that was afforded through the use of gasoline engines. The difference in these speeds jumped an amazing 15 miles per hour. The history of hybrid car products on the highway was just emerging to the forefront of American minds during this time.

There were hybrid trucks being built as early as 1918. Consumers chose speed over gas savings in 1914, when a company developed a hybrid that would offer an astounding 70 miles to each gallon of gas, an amount that is available in some models being offered now in the year 2007. It was the top speed of 30 miles an hour that changed consumers mind to pursue models that were a bit quicker.

The health effects that were caused by internal combustion engines were noted by health officials in the late 1960′s. In 1966, the United States Congress recognized the need to reduce air pollution and recommended bills that led to interest in the production of electric vehicles. The first car manufacturer to jump on the band wagon to perform research and develop these electric cars.

Further development interests led to the production of an advanced battery that would allow the electric vehicles the opportunity to be suitable for highway use. Experimentation was done to enhance the number of charges these batteries could take to prolong their time on the roadways. The concentration on developing hybrid automobiles had reached a worldwide effort by the time the oil embargoes were affecting the prices of fuels around the world.

With the effects of pollution becoming worse in large cities, countries such as Germany and Japan took the production levels of the hybrid car center stage, with developments by Volkswagen and Toyota featuring prototype hybrid taxis and engines. The state of California was the first government to require a certain percentage of sales be automobiles that met the new Zero Emission Vehicle policies. This made the advancement of hybrid automobiles more prevalent in our society. Toyota was the first company to offer hybrid automobiles for sale to the public in December 1997. It was marketed solely to Japanese people.

For hybrid car sales in the United States, Honda was the first to offer a two-seated hybrid car in year 2000 and further expanded the offering of hybrid vehicles to the United States only two months later with a compact car model, the Prius. The classic style of the ever popular gas saving model, Civic, was then offered in hybrid car form in 2002 and received great reviews.

Other automakers followed suit, with Ford offering the Escape Hybrid in 2004. This was also the first hybrid that had a sports utility vehicle feature. The production of the hybrid car will continue, as popularity intensifies, and the American public will relish in the tax saving and economical features that the hybrid automobile brings to the benefit of the American people.

In conclusion, hybrid cars will be the next alternative to fuel vehicle. The trend is spreading, not only in American, but worldwide. Asia countries, such as Japan, Korea and Singapore owners of hybrid cars are enjoying tax relief from switching to hybrid motor. It is inevitable that fuel motor cars model will be going down to history and hybrid cars is making a history.

Dodge Stratus: Still the Fine American Car

Running under the brand name Dodge are a concoction of vehicles that vary from the large and power trucks to the very functional sedans and to the very sporty small cars. Even so, all of these vehicles that run under Dodge’s umbrella are all created to be muscular and powerful, even the small ones.

The Dodge brand is handled by the DaimlerChrysler automobile corporation. They became a part of that corporation in 1928. However, the Dodge has already been making waves since its creation in 1901, and it was John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge who started it with the Dodge Brothers Bicycle and Machine Factory. At present, running under the Dodge brand are a variety of models that include the Dodge Neon, the Dodge SRT4, the Dodge Stratus, the Dodge Viper, the Dodge Magnum, the Dodge Caravan, the Dodge Durango, the Dodge Ram Truck, and the Dodge Sprinter.

The Dodge Stratus has twins in its family – the Chrysler Cirrus, and the Plymouth Breeze. The Dodge Stratus though was first introduced to the automobile market in 1995 and had held four doors. This vehicle was based and built on the Chrysler JA platform.

As part of the Dodge family, the Dodge Stratus is a fine American car, just like its siblings. It delivers excellent performance, easy convenience, and a unique styling. This vehicle comes in two styles that comprise of the more compact Dodge Stratus Coupe and, the larger of the two, the Dodge Stratus Sedan. Both are offered in two trims which are the sporty R/T and the family-focused trim level. Coming standard for this vehicle are two powerful engines. There is the 2.4 liter 16V DOHC engine with four cylinders and the 2.7 liter V6 DOHC engine with 24 V. The former is standard on the sedan line up while the latter is standard for the coupe line. The Dodge Stratus has superb towing power as well as a 4 speed automatic transmission providing a peak performance. The Dodge Stratus guarantees users a comfortable ride which is all due to its confident suspension, quick steering, and easy handling. It has the capacity to grip the road securely thus preventing any mishaps while driving.

Standard features for the Dodge Stratus include dual front airbags, an emergency inside trunk release, air conditioning, a power steering, a cruise control, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, a center console, a remote keyless entry, an AM/FM/CD player, a digital clock, a tachometer, variable-intermittent wipers, visor mirrors, a rear defogger, automatic-off headlights, floormats, sixteen inch alloy wheels, anti-lock four wheel disc brakes, map lights, and a theft-deterrent system.

Options for this vehicle include leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, a power sunroof, a unique interior trim, fog lights, chrome alloy wheels, a special instrument panel trim, a rear spoiler, traction control, antilock four wheel disc brakes, a universal garage-door opener, an automatic day/night rearview mirror, a central locking system, a trip computer, and rear assist handles.