Repeal Heavy-Duty Excise Tax and Get Cleaner Trucks on Our Roads, Transportation Groups Urge Congress

Today a group of transportation and trucking stakeholders is calling on Congress to repeal the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on heavy-duty commercial vehicles. This century-old tax is impeding the deployment of cleaner, more environmentally friendly trucks on our nation’s roads, according to a letter from the American Trucking Associations, American Truck Dealers, and Zero Emission Transportation Association sent to Congressional leadership.

The heavy-duty excise tax was established in 1917 to defray the costs of World War I and today adds 12% to the cost of a new truck, creating a major disincentive for trucking fleets small and large to modernize their equipment and replace older tractors with new, low-emission power units. The FET can add more than $50,000 to the price of the latest low- or zero-emission vehicle, making these investments cost-prohibitive for smaller fleets. Over 90% of U.S. motor carriers operate six or fewer trucks.

“If Congress is serious about safety, the environment and jobs, then repealing the FET should be front-burner,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It’s time to shelve this World War I era tax and starting putting the best equipment on our roads.”

“The federal government wants heavy-duty trucks to be cleaner or emission free, but slaps a 12 percent tax on the newest, greenest trucks. If the goal is to reduce emissions, repealing the counterproductive FET is a good place to start,” said Scott McCandless, ATD Chairman and President of McCandless Truck Center LLC of Aurora, Colo.
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