U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa touted tax relief for truckers during a press conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., for “Modernize the Truck Fleet Week.”
LaMalfa, R-Calif., highlighted his legislation, H.R. 2381, the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2019, which repeals the 100-year-old federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks.
“The FET made sense when it was implemented 100 years ago, but just like trucks that were designed in 1917, it’s no longer the best option in the modern world," LaMalfa said. "Today, it’s a cost-prohibitive barrier for small businesses looking to upgrade their outdated trucks to safer, cleaner, more modern vehicles.
"The average age of most heavy-duty trucks on the road today is nearly 10 years old – that means a decade worth of technological advancements is effectively being sidelined," he said. "The 12 percent FET limits truck replacement by discouraging truck owners from upgrading their older vehicles, which doesn’t help to lower emissions or improve truck safety. We won’t truly see a modern truck fleet in the U.S. until it’s repealed.”
“The FET was enacted to help pay for World War I,” said Jodie Teuton, chairwoman of the American Truck Dealers (ATD). “This tax may have made sense in 1917, but today the FET delays heavy-duty truck fleet turnover by adding more than $20,000 to the average price of a new truck.” Her remarks were made during a press conference held as part of “Modernize the Truck Fleet Week” (June 17-21). Added Teuton, “With the average age of a heavy-duty truck on the road almost 10 years old, Congress should adopt policies to help trucks buyers incorporate the latest environmental and safety technology developed in recent years.”
Jake Jacoby, President and CEO of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), stated, “With an infrastructure bill as likely to pass as any piece of legislation this Congress, this is the time to put all of our combined energy into finding a way to replace the onerous FET. We are excited to be a part of such a collaborative effort working with truck companies, manufacturers, dealers and end users who all want to put the cleanest, most technologically advanced trucks onto our highways immediately.”
LaMalfa is a member of the House of Representatives' Agriculture Committee. His bill is currently before the Ways and Means Committee.