Speakeasy forum: About Oprah's car give away

by: Del McMullen September 22, 2004 4:12 PM PDT

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About Oprah's car give away

by Del McMullen - 9/22/04 4:12 PM

The cars were not exactly FREE. More like 75% Off.

Even a mouse knows there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Uh oh. Some things really are too good to be true. One of them may be the free Pontiac G6 Oprah Winfrey and General Motors gave to 276 members of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" audience on September 13. Turns out, the car isn't totally free after all.

Even though Pontiac is paying the state sales tax and licensing fees, the recipients will have to pay thousands of dollars in state and federal income taxes, reports The Chicago Sun-Times. And some of them are quite surprised--and downright worried by the tax sticker shock that could cost each winner $7,125 or more. By law, the winners will have to add the value of the "free" car--$28,500--to their income. That could push them into a higher income tax bracket. Most of the winners will likely have to pay about 25 percent or more of the car's value in taxes, which adds up to $7,125. And that's not all. The winners will also have to pay state income tax on the vehicle.

"It's not really a free car, it's more of a 75 percent off car," winner Susan Nelson told Sun-Times reporter Lucio Guerrero. "Of course, that's still not such a bad deal." Winner William Toebe, a farmer in Green Bay, Wisconsin, told the paper, "As I was standing up there, the responsible portion of me said, 'This is very nice, but where am I going to get the money for the taxes?'" He's even thinking of getting rid of the car for just this reason.

Even though it was implied that the winners walked out of the studio and drove away in their new cars that day, they haven't yet received the vehicles. The automobiles will actually be delivered to a dealer near each winner's home, reports the Sun-Times. Pickup will be between October 1 and February 28. So the good news is that the winners have time to figure out how they are going to pay the taxes and could even delay that bill until April 2006 if they get the car after December 31.

If you don't vote on Nov 2.....
,,,,you can't complain for 4 years
So vote, and vote smart

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