ATD Legislative Priorities

New ATD Video Highlights the Need to End the FET on Heavy-Duty Trucks

The outdated federal excise tax (FET) adds tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a new heavy-duty truck, while keeping older, less safe and less fuel-efficient ones on the road longer, the American Truck Dealers (ATD) says in a new video calling for repeal of the tax.

“Congress originally passed the FET for one purpose: to fund World War I in 1917. More than 100 years later and the tax is not only still with us, but it has increased from 3 to 12 percent,” the video says. “And because truck sales can be hot or cold depending on the economy, it’s the most volatile source of federal revenue to the Highway Trust Fund.”

The FET is the highest percentage tax that Congress levies on a product.

“World War I ended a long time ago,” the video says. “Now’s the time to end the FET.”

ATD is leading a new coalition, Modernize the Truck Fleet (MTF), which has two goals: repealing the FET, and identifying an acceptable replacement to sustain the Highway Trust Fund.

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Support Repeal of the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on New Heavy-Duty Trucks (H.R. 2946/ S. 3052)

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It’s been 101 years…
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Congress should repeal the FET
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Congress imposes a 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of most new heavy-duty trucks. This tax often adds as much as $22,000 or more to the price of a new heavy-duty truck. The FET depresses new heavy-duty truck sales and delays the deployment of cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient trucks. This burdensome tax is in addition to the nearly $40,000 in recent federal emissions and fuel-economy mandates that will make it harder for small businesses to afford a new heavy-duty truck. 


☛  Related article: The Trucker: ATD Calls On Congress to Repeal Federal Excise Tax on HD Trucks


The FET is a complex and difficult tax to administer, and truck dealers incur considerable costs navigating IRS regulations and paperwork associated with collecting this retail tax. Additionally, since the FET is based on annual sales, which can vary greatly, the tax also fails to provide certainty to the highway trust fund (HTF), where its revenue is deposited. This excise tax has been the most inconsistent source of revenue for the HTF over the past twenty years. Congress should include H.R. 2946, a bill that would repeal the FET, in a potential infrastructure bill to end this onerous tax that hampers economic growth. Enactment of this bill would directly benefit the 7.4 million Americans employed in trucking-related jobs. Members are urged to cosponsor H.R. 2946/S. 3052 to spur new truck sales and promote the entry of cleaner and safer trucks to modernize the trucking fleet.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) speaks on House floor
in support of FET repeal.



➢   Bill Text for H.R.2946 – Heavy Truck, Tractor, and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2017
➢   Bill Text for S. 3052 – Heavy Truck, Tractor, and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2017
➢   Cosponsors for H.R. 2946
➢   Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) Letter to House Leadership on H.R. 2946 ➢   Dear Colleague Letter for H.R. 2946 ➢   ATD Press Release Supporting H.R. 2946 ➢   ATD Press Release Supporting S. 3052  ➢   Transport Topics: Industry Supports Repeal of Federal Excise Tax by Jodie Teuton, ATD Chairwoman


Modernize the Truck Fleet (MTF) Coalition

A major barrier to modernizing the truck fleet is the current federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks. This tax on most new heavy-duty trucks has grown from 3 to 12 percent today and routinely adds $12,000 to $22,000 on the price of a new truck. The FET also can depress new heavy-duty truck sales and delay the deployment of cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient trucks.  Modernize the Truck Fleet (MTF) is an industry coalition to build support for FET repeal and to identify viable funding options to replace this burdensome tax.

Click here to learn more about MTF and join our effort: 

➢   Press Release: ‘Modernize the Truck Fleet’ Coalition Launches 
➢   Join the ‘Modernize the Truck Fleet’ Coalition
➢   'Modernize the Truck Fleet’ Coalition Members


Support Like-Kind Exchange (LKE) Transition Rules for Personal Property

The recently enacted tax reform bill (H.R. 1) repealed the use of like-kind exchanges (LKE) for personal property. Truck dealers and their customers used LKEs to facilitate fleet turnover and purchase new trucks by deferring the recognition of gain on the exchange of existing business assets (i.e. older leased trucks) when replacing them with new products (i.e. new leased trucks). This change in the law has left some truck dealerships that have significant LKE deferments with an additional tax liability that will create a large one-time tax bill that could severely curtail cash flow.  Congress should pass transition rules for LKE deferments that allow businesses additional time to pay this new tax liability so they can continue to create jobs and invest in their businesses.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Phase 2):

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles

Highway Trust Fund

Read ATD's testimony regarding the Highway Trust Fund: U.S. House Testimony | U.S. Senate Testimony