Bill would create tax credit for commercial truck drivers
April 13, 2022
A bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would create a tax credit for commercial truck drivers who meet certain requirements.
Touted as a way to combat the “truck driver shortage,” Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., introduced legislation to create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL and who have driven at least 1,900 hours in the year.
Proponents say the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act, HR7348, would provide a short-term, fast and straightforward incentive to attract and retain new drivers.
“The truck driving industry is facing a massive workforce shortage that’s disrupting supply chains and leaving store shelves empty,” Gallagher said in a news release. “We need truck drivers to keep our economy moving, and this bill takes steps to help encourage more individuals to make a career out of this important work.”
The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would:
- Create a new refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. This tax credit would last for two years (2022 and 2023).
- Create a new refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for new truck drivers or individuals enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship. This tax credit also would last for two years.
- Allow new truck drivers to be eligible for the credit if they did not drive a commercial truck in the previous year or drive for at least 1,420 hours in the current year. They may receive a proportion of the credit if they drive less than 1,420 hours in the year but drove at least an average of 40 hours a week upon starting to drive.
“Our legislation takes a commonsense step towards addressing our chronic driver shortage,” Spanberger said. “By creating a refundable tax credit for the men and women who keep our goods flowing, we would encourage more young people to hop in the driver’s seat, reduce headaches for trucking businesses, and make sure experienced drivers are rewarded for their hard work.”
The legislation was endorsed by the American Trucking Associations and the American Loggers Council.
So far, the bill, which was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee on March 31, has only one co-sponsor.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has long argued that there is not a shortage of truck drivers but a retention problem caused by low pay and poor working conditions.
ATA has claimed that there is a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers. David Correll, a transportation expert and lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that ATA’s estimated 80,000 driver deficit could be resolved by simply improving the utilization of drivers by 18 minutes per day. Correll’s research estimated that truckers – because of detention time and other factors – drive an average of only 6.5 hours out of the 11 allowed each day. LL