WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a plan that could cost Canadian cross-border trucking companies, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) is lobbying to swap a 12% federal excise tax on large trucks with a “modest” increase in diesel fuel taxes.
The bil was introduced by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and endorsed by the ATA. If adopted, new trucks will be more affordable in the US, however diesel fuel taxes would increase, a trade-off the US trucking industry seems willing to make.
“The proposal by Congressmen Gerlach and Blumenauer would not only reinforce the ailing Highway Trust Fund, but would provide a boost to US manufacturing and speed adoption of environmentally friendly technologies,” ATA president Bill Graves said. “It is exactly the kind of pro-growth, deficit-trimming legislation that lawmakers should be looking at as they seek to address our nation’s economic woes.”
The bill would see the federal diesel tax go up 6.3 cents per gallon.
“Revenues from the excise tax are only paid into the Highway Trust Fund when new trucks are purchased, but when truck sales slump, it puts even more pressure on the already overextended fund,” Graves said. “By collecting more in the diesel tax, the federal government could ensure a more stable and predictable source of funding for needed highway and bridge projects.”
“Further, by cutting more than $15,000 from the cost of the average new truck, eliminating the excise tax will encourage purchases of trucks, providing a boost for manufacturing and accelerate the adoption of new technologies aimed at improving safety and fuel efficiency,” he added. “Legislation like this is a win-win for the government and for the business community and should be swiftly enacted.”