Florida Congressman Francis Rooney visits Wallace International Trucks
By Patrick Calpin, ATD/NADA Director of Grassroots Advocacy, and Charles Cyrill, ATD/NADA Director of Media and Public Affairs
FT. MYERS, Fla. – Last month, Debra Gilkey, executive vice president and general manager of Wallace International Trucks in Fort Myers, Fla., hosted first-term Congressman Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) at the dealership, which has been a family-owned business since 1972.
Rep. Rooney, who met with employees and toured the dealership, was the first cosponsor of H.R. 2946, a bill that would repeal the 12-percent federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.
“We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Congressman Rooney was familiar with the FET on heavy-duty trucks because of his family’s construction business, which purchases and operates commercial trucks,” Gilkey said. “During our visit with him, we pointed out that a recent sale of a new dump truck cost the buyer $19,560 in FET along with a 6-percent sales tax of $9,780. In addition, over the past 15 years, EPA increases in emissions standards have raised the base cost of trucks by more than $21,000 each. This increase, along with the FET, has extended the buying cycle for the majority of our customers, which in turn leaves older, less efficient trucks on our highways.”
Last June, Gilkey was among numerous dealers and dealer trade association executives who attended the American Truck Dealers (ATD) legislative fly-in to Capitol Hill. This year, ATD’s legislative fly-in will be held June 20 and 21.
“We found out that many members of Congress who we visited were totally unaware of the 12-percent FET on new heavy trucks and trailers,” she added. “I urge all dealers to contact their Representatives and request they cosponsor H.R. 2946.”
Laura Perrotta, ATD/NADA senior director of legislative affairs, said the FET routinely adds between $12,000 to $22,000 to the price of a new heavy-duty truck.
“Congress will likely revisit the FET issue during its consideration of a potential infrastructure bill,” Perrotta added.
The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) in June 2017, currently has 15 bipartisan cosponsors.
ATD members should call their Representatives today and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 2946. For more information on H.R. 2946, click here.
If you would like to host a dealership visit with your member of Congress, contact Patrick Calpin, ATD/NADA director of grassroots advocacy, at 202.547.5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Wallace International Trucks in Ft. Myers, Fla., hosted U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney on April 6, 2018. Pictured (left to right): Doug Pierce, sales manager; Debra Gilkey, executive vice president and general manager; Rep. Rooney; and sales managers Ken Wallace and Randy Betten.