ATD Applauds Reintroduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Repeal Tax that Delays Investment in Cleaner, Safer Trucks

Published March 9, 2023

Washington (March 9, 2023)—The American Truck Dealers (ATD) announced its support for the “Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2023,” a bill reintroduced in both chambers of Congress yesterday that would repeal the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) reintroduced the legislation in the Senate. Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) led reintroduction in the House with Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) also joining as original cosponsors.

The FET was first enacted in 1917 to help pay for World War I. This tax has increased to 12% since its inception and is a major disincentive for trucking fleets to modernize their equipment with new, low-emission vehicles. Despite regulatory pressures by the federal government to greatly increase the sales of electric or zero-emission trucks, the FET can add more than $50,000 to the price of these vehicles. Another consequence of this outdated tax is that it results in older trucks staying on the road much longer.

“Nearly half of America’s trucking fleet is over 10 years old,” said Scott McCandless, Chairman of ATD and President of McCandless Truck Center LLC of Aurora, Colo. “Repealing the FET will be a giant step toward achieving our national goal of turning over America’s aging truck fleet.”

The FET applies to vehicles with a gross weight of 33,000 pounds. This complex and onerous tax is applied on the first sale of most heavy-duty trucks.

“America’s truck dealers commend Sens. Young and Cardin, and Reps. LaMalfa, Pappas, Blumenauer and LaHood for their bipartisan leadership on this legislation,” said Laura Perrotta, President of ATD. “Lawmakers must make repealing the FET a priority so family-owned trucking businesses can continue to invest in the newest, cleanest and safest advanced trucks available.”

On February 22, ATD, the American Trucking Associations, and Zero Emission Transportation Association sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership in support of FET repeal.

Click here for more information on the FET on heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

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