OOIDA to Congress: Suspend Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

July 30, 2020

Land Line Staff

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association told lawmakers that one way to provide tangible relief to truck drivers during the COVID-19 crisis is to suspend the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax for one year.

OOIDA requested the one-year suspension in a letter to congressional leaders sent on Thursday, July 30.

“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.”

The tax is assessed annually on heavy vehicles weighing 55,000 pounds or more. The annual fee for trucks weighing 75,000 pounds or more is $550 per truck.

“The fee is required for every truck operated by a business, and so it is applied equally to all trucking businesses, whether they have one truck or 1,000 trucks,” OOIDA wrote.

The Association said it believes suspending the heavy vehicle use tax is a more equitable way to benefit truckers than suspending the federal excise tax on the purchase of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

“By its nature, an FET suspension will only benefit trucking companies that have enough money to even consider purchasing new vehicles and equipment in the current economic environment,” OOIDA wrote. “For small businesses wondering how they’ll make next month’s insurance payment or pay for fuel, they will never see any benefit from an FET suspension.”

OOIDA stressed that truckers have risked their own health to keep America’s economy moving during the pandemic and that historically low freight rates have made it difficult for many small motor carriers to stay in business.

“At a time when Congress and the American public have heaped praise on truckers for their work on the front lines of this crisis, we believe it is time to take action that will provide tangible assistance,” OOIDA wrote.

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