OOIDA seeks members’ help in fight against truck-only VMT tax

February 25, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is asking for its members’ help by having them reach out to their lawmakers in opposition of a plan to introduce a truck-only vehicle miles traveled tax.

OOIDA issued a Call to Action to its more than 160,000 members on Monday, Feb. 24.

“In a disgraceful effort to generate additional highway funding, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association has pledged support for a new VMT tax exclusively on America’s truckers,” OOIDA wrote. “ARTBA’s promotion of a truck-only VMT assumes that our industry doesn’t pay our fair share into the Highway Trust Fund, which we all know is complete bull.”

OOIDA is urging all of its members to call their respective Senators to let them know that you oppose the tax. Contact information for your respective Senators can be found by clicking here and typing in your ZIP code. Another way to contact your lawmaker is by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

OOIDA’s letter

In a letter to Senate leaders, OOIDA called out ARTBA for being “shameless” and “arrogant,” and called the truck-only tax a “discriminatory funding ploy.”

“ARTBA’s promotion of a truck-only VMT insinuates truckers don’t pay their fair share into the Highway Trust Fund, which is preposterous,” OOIDA wrote. “Not only is the trucking industry currently paying more than its fair share, a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office found Highway Trust Fund revenues derived from motor carriers through the heavy-vehicle and tire taxes will increase over the next decade. Between the current diesel tax and these supplemental taxes that other highway users do not pay, the trucking industry is estimated to increase its contributions to the Highway Trust Fund over the same period of time.”

In January, OOIDA wrote another letter to lawmakers, saying that any highway funding proposal should not disproportionately burden truckers.

“Professional truck drivers cover tens of billions of miles on American highways each year, so our members can speak from experience about the significant need to update and maintain our roads,” OOIDA wrote. “The economic success and competitiveness of both small-business truckers and the nation depend on a safe, reliable and well-funded national transportation system. Simply put, our members understand the value of an efficient highway network and support efforts to increase Highway Trust Fund revenues so long as they are done in a fair and equitable way.”

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A truck-only version of the VMT tax would create opponents for motor carriers of all sizes, OOIDA said.

“Lawmakers must avoid discriminatory funding ploys like ARTBA’s, because they will prevent the formation of this necessary coalition,” OOIDA wrote. “Not only will embracing their foolish truck-only VMT tax squander the vital support of our industry, it will turn us into staunch opponents of the next highway bill.”

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.