Kentucky cracks down on Heavy Vehicle Use Tax evasion

December 1, 2020

Land Line Staff

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Kentucky is cracking down on truckers who are not paying their Heavy Vehicle Use Tax after the governor allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to address evasion of the tax.

On Nov. 25, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that a nearly $400,000 federal grant has been awarded to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Specifically, the money will be used to combat HVUT evasion in the state.

According to a news release, about $250,000 will go toward equipment, training and execution of an enforcement blitz by officers of the Kentucky State Police’s Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and auditors of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Motor Carriers and Division of Road Fund Audits.

Enforcement blitzes will take place at weigh stations and along bypass routes typically used by carriers to avoid weigh stations when evading their HVUT obligations.

Remaining funds are for a study to make it easier for authorities to verify a carrier’s HVUT status.

“Operators of commercial vehicles must pay their fair share for use of our public roads and bridges,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement. “Anything less is unfair to conscientious, law-abiding operators and to taxpayers who ultimately pay for our transportation system.”

HVUT was the focus of an effort by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to provide relief to truckers during the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. In July, OOIDA sent a letter to congressional leaders requesting a one-year suspension of the tax.

“Offering a one-year suspension of the HVUT is the most direct way that Congress can help every single trucking business,” OOIDA wrote in the letter signed by President and CEO Todd Spencer. “While some trucking operations have been able to qualify for pandemic assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, many others have not been able to for one reason or another. Suspending the HVUT would bypass the complications of these programs and provide a simple way to make sure that all truckers get relief.” LL

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