Idaho's governor is expected to sign legislation that repeals the state's weight-distance tax and gives the American Trucking Assns. $27 million in order to settle the ATA's suit alleging that the tax is unconstitutional.

The $27 million will go into the "American Trucking Assns. Settlement Fund" to finance refunds of the tax, according to Bob Digges, vice president and deputy chief counsel, ATA Litigation Center.
The legislation repealing the weight-distance tax replaces Idaho's lost revenues with increases in truck registration fees. The weight-distance tax repeal is effective as of Oct. 1, but the change over will phase in through Sept. 30, 2001 as truck registration renewals become due. Until a carrier begins payment under the new registration system, it will remain subject to the weight-distance tax.
The new annual registration fee will be $3,200 for a standard 80,000-pound rig. The registration fee contains lower tax levels for low-mileage vehicles, with a tax break for vehicles operating less than 7,500 miles a year and another for those operating less than 50,000 miles.
A companion bill authorizing the $27 million payment was passed last week. Trucking companies that paid all of their weight-distance tax under the tax's regular-rate schedule can expect to be eligible for prorated refunds of past payments under a formula to be approved by the state court, Digges says.