Congress should repeal the outdated 12% federal excise tax (FET) imposed on new heavy-duty trucks to accelerate turnover of America’s aging truck fleet, which will lead to cleaner, safer trucks on the road. First enacted in 1917 to help pay for World War I, this tax routinely adds $22,000 or more to the price of a new heavy-duty truck. The FET is levied in addition to the nearly $40,000 per truck cost due to recent federal emissions and fuel-economy mandates. The FET can also add more than $50,000 to the price of an electric or hydrogen fuel-cell truck, which cost more than twice the price of internal combustion engine trucks. While new trucks have made significant environmental gains, such as reducing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by at least 98%, the FET remains a costly barrier to the purchase of new trucks equipped with the latest environmental technologies. With 47% of the Class 8 trucks on the road today over 10 years old, FET repeal would immediately
benefit the environment by incentivizing the replacement of older trucks with cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient trucks. In February, ATD, the American Trucking Associations and the Zero Emission Transportation Association sent a letter
to Congressional leaders urging repeal of the FET. ATD and eight trucking organizations sent a letter
to Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee leadership in July urging passage of bipartisan FET repeal legislation, the “Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2023” (H.R. 1440
). Members of Congress are urged to cosponsor H.R. 1440/S. 694 to incentivize the replacement of older trucks with new, greener, and safer trucks.