Senate bill would eliminate federal excise tax on sale of heavy-duty trucks

June 14, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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A bill introduced in the Senate would repeal the federal excise tax on the sale of heavy-duty trucks.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) proposed bill S3052 on Wednesday, June 13. A similar bill was introduced last year in the House by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.). The tax has been in effect at varying rates since 1917.

The current federal excise tax on the sale of heavy-duty trucks is 12 percent. According to the American Truck Dealers, the tax can add anywhere between $12,000 and $22,000 on the price of new heavy-duty trucks.

“This burdensome tax creates excessive costs that are passed on to truckers who play an essential role in maintaining our nation’s economy,” Gardner said in a news release. “I was happy to introduce legislation to repeal it.”

Nile Elam, director of legislative affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said that while the bill looks good on the surface, the Association wants to make sure a repeal wouldn’t create some unintended negative consequences for truck drivers.

“We have to be careful here because if they eliminate this tax what’s to say that we may not see another type of revenue-generator pop up?” Elam said. “Government loves to get its money. It’s hard to see this tax being eliminated without something else coming up as a consequence.

“At face value, this looks good. But we’re still diving into the bill text to make sure we’re not opening up another can of works by eliminating this tax.”

Land Line Now’s Mary McKenna contributed to this report.

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 more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.