-  Photo: Jim Park

Photo: Jim Park

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is asking Congress to provide needed economic relief to struggling small-business truckers by suspending the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax for one year as part of the next COVID-19 response package.

OOIDA sent a letter to both House and Senate leadership today expressing concerns about how the economic downturn has lowered freight rates and created uncertainty for those who have put their own well-being on the line to do their jobs.

“Truckers are still on the front lines, filling store shelves and supplying hospitals,” said OOIDA president, Todd Spencer. “Suspending the HVUT is a way that Congress could easily offer fast, direct relief to all motor carriers. And believe me, they need it, much more than just a ‘thank you.’”

The HVUT is an annual fee that typically costs about $550 per truck. OOIDA says that compared to the federal excise tax (FET), the HVUT is a more immediate and equitable way to provide assistance since suspending the FET would only benefit businesses in a position to purchase new equipment.

“Congress and the American public have heaped praised on truckers for their work on the front lines of this crisis,” said Spencer. “This action would provide tangible, meaningful help to carriers of all sizes, not just those large enough to have the resources to afford new equipment in the midst of an historic economic downturn.”