A bill introduced in the Senate on June 12 is the latest attempt to repeal the12% federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers. The FET-- originally imposed in 1917 to help finance U.S. military operations in World War I-- has grown steadily over the years. It currently tacks $12,000 to $22,000 onto the price of a new heavy-duty truck, according to the American Truck Dealers division of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
“This burdensome tax creates excessive costs that are passed on to truckers, who play an essential role in maintaining our nation’s economy,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who is the sponsor of the new bill (designated S. 3052), which seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. “I was happy to introduce legislation to repeal it.”
ATD noted in a statement supporting the Senate bill that it is similar in scope to the Heavy Truck, Tractor and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 2946), introduced by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) in June 2017, which ATD also supports. The House bill currently has 17 bipartisan cosponsors.
The dealer association said that from June 20-21, it will host its annual ATD Legislative Fly-In to Capitol Hill to rally bipartisan support for S. 3052 and H.R. 2946.
“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.”
ATD noted that other supporter of FET repeal include Bendix Commercial Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Mack Trucks, National Trailer Dealers Association, Navistar, NTEA, Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, and Volvo Trucks North America.