Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) introduced legislation in Congress Tuesday to repeal a burdensome federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks originally imposed in 1917 to help defray the cost of World War I. The tax has grown from 3 percent, when it was incorporated into the Highway Trust Fund in 1955, to 12 percent today.
The introduction of H.R. 2946 garnered broad industry support as heavy-duty truck dealers and trade association executives from across the county traveled to the nation’s capital this week for a two-day legislative briefing and fly-in that included 92 meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
ATD, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association and the representative of more than 1,800 U.S. commercial truck dealers, voiced its strong support for Rep. LaMalfa’s legislation:
“The 12-percent federal excise tax on heavy-duty trucks is the highest percentage rate of any federal excise tax that Congress levies, and it adds $12,000 to $22,000 to the price of a new heavy-duty truck,” ATD Chairman Steve Parker said ahead of a series of meetings with Members of Congress. “The FET depresses new heavy-duty truck sales and delays the deployment of cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient trucks.”
The bill now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee for review.
It’s time for Congress to take a hard look at the FET and determine if this tax has outlived its usefulness. In the meantime, here are 6 reasons for lawmakers to support Rep. LaMalfa’s legislation: