Import dealership lobbying group AIADA is welcoming the end of the luxury tax in the US on 1 January, saying it unfairly hit the “small business automobile dealer”.

“Jan. 1, 2003, is a day long anticipated by automobile dealers. After six years of strong lobbying by dealers at the grassroots, intense pressure in Washington each year, and constant vigilance, this tax will finally be off the books,” said AIADA chairman Jamie Auffenberg. “It’s a remarkable achievement attributable to teamwork, persistence and a strong voice for dealers.”

AIADA said that Congress originally imposed the luxury car tax in 1990 to tax the purchases of high-income individuals.

“In reality, however, small business auto dealers generally were forced pay all or part of the tax to complete a sale. Thus, the auto luxury tax unfairly hit America’s small business automobile dealer and not the intended target,” the organisation said.