WASHINGTON — Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., on Tuesday introduced SB3052, a bill that would repeal the 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.
The FET, which was originally imposed in 1917 to help pay for World War I, has grown from 3 percent to 12 percent and adds $12,000 to $22,000 on the price of a new heavy-duty truck.
“This burdensome tax creates excessive costs that are passed on to truckers, who play an essential role in maintaining our nation’s economy,” Gardner said. “I was happy to introduce legislation to repeal it.”
SB 3052 is similar to the “Heavy Truck, Tractor and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act” introduced by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., in June 2017. The House bill currently has 17 bipartisan cosponsors. When introduced it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee where no action on the measure has been taken.
On June 5, LaMalfa gave a speech on the House floor in support of his bill. HR2946.
“The financial and regulatory burden created by the FET hurts truck retailers, drivers and businesses across the country,” said LaMalfa, who is urging Congress to include FET repeal in an upcoming infrastructure funding bill, adding, “By incorporating this repeal effort into any future infrastructure funding measure, Congress can rebuild our crumbling road system while ensuring that our commercial truck fleet is both cleaner and safer.”
The American Truck Dealers (ATD), a division of the Newsal Automobile Dealers Association, will host its annual ATD Legislative Fly-In to Capitol Hill to rally bipartisan support for the two bills.
“It is the highest excise tax Congress levies on a percentage basis on any product, including alcohol and tobacco,” said ATD Chairwoman Jodie Teuton, vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana and Hino of Baton Rouge. “It’s time for Congress to repeal this tax, and we thank Sen. Gardner for his leadership on this important issue.”
The ATD said the excise tax often adds as much as $22,000 or more to the price of a new heavy duty truck.
If truck buyers cannot afford to purchase new trucks because of excessive taxes or burdensome regulations, the environmental and safety benefits of these new trucks will be delayed, the organization said.
In addition to ATD, other supporters of the FET repeal include Baker Commodities, Bendix Commercial Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Mack Trucks, Newsal Trailer Dealers Association, Navistar, NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association and Volvo Trucks North America.
ATD represents more than 1,800 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealerships in the U.S.