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Toyota pumps up price of its Tundra pickup

By Times Wires
Published January 26, 2007


Toyota is putting its reputation as a premium automaker to a test by pricing its redesigned pickup, the Tundra, shown above, several thousand dollars higher than comparable trucks made by General Motors and Ford. Sticker prices for the bigger and brawnier 2007 Tundra, which goes on sale in mid February, will begin at $22,290 for the most basic model and go as high as $41,850. The Chevrolet Silverado, which also was revamped for 2007, has a base price of $17,860, while Ford's F-series, the segment's longtime leader, starts at $18,275. Last year's Tundra ranged in price from $16,155 to $33,575. Toyota considers the new Tundra the most important vehicle it has ever sold in the United States.

IRS: Credit isn't for entire phone bill

The Internal Revenue Service warned Thursday that it will take prompt action against taxpayers and preparers who claim improperly large refunds from a discontinued telephone tax. The IRS said early filings indicated some taxpayers are requesting "large and apparently improper amounts" for the one-time refund from the long-distance excise tax that the government stopped collecting last August. The agency said some taxpayers are asking for refunds of their entire phone bills rather than for the 3 percent tax on long-distance and bundled service they are entitled to. The IRS has urged taxpayers to request a standard refund amount ranging from $30 to $60, based on the number of exemptions they claim.

Smithsonian finds partner in photos

The Smithsonian Institution and Corbis Corp. announced a deal Wednesday to begin selling images from the Smithsonian's collections for editorial and commercial use through the digital media company. Under the licensing agreement, Corbis will provide hundreds of images from the Smithsonian museums, including archival photos and images of cultural objects, paintings, sculptures, aircraft and space vehicles. Smithsonian officials said they hope the agreement with Corbis will make museum resources more easily accessible and offer some images in a digital format for the first time. About 200 images from the Smithsonian have already been added to Seattle-based Corbis' image database with more to follow, Elia said.

Bud's Super Bowl dynasty continues

In the annual Big Game of advertising - the Super Bowl - marketing powerhouse Anheuser-Busch Cos. is the force to be reckoned with, and this year is no different. The brewer will once again be the largest advertiser during the Feb. 4 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears with a combined five minutes of ad time for its Budweiser and Bud Light brands. In addition to its usual stable of Clydesdale horses, the company will also enlist help this year from racing star Dale Earnhardt Jr., some beer-thieving crabs and a scary hitchhiker.