By Laura Perrotta, ATD/NADA Legislative Affairs, and Charles Cyrill, ATD/NADA Public Affairs
WASHINGTON – Following a two-day legislative fly-in to Capitol Hill last week, the American Truck Dealers (ATD) is organizing an industry-wide coalition to repeal the federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.
“ATD is in the process of launching a new FET Repeal Coalition,” said ATD Chairwoman Jodie Teuton. “The coalition will be tasked with building support in Congress to repeal the FET and suggesting options to replace the revenue from the FET.”
Last week, 38 heavy-duty truck dealers and Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE) from 17 states attended ATD’s legislative fly-in. In all, 92 meetings were held on Capitol Hill to rally congressional support for S. 3052 and H.R. 2946, bills that would repeal the FET.
S. 3052 was introduced by U.S. Sen. Gardner (R-Colo.) on June 12, 2018, and the bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
“ATAE participation in the fly-in resulted in three additional cosponsors of H.R. 2946, and we expect more in the coming weeks,” added Teuton, vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana and Hino of Baton Rouge.
In remarks at a dealer meeting on June 21, U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) said a strong trucking industry is fundamental to the nation’s economy, especially during times of growth like the industry is currently experiencing.
“Major tax cuts, regulatory right-sizing and the other pro-growth initiatives we’re moving through Congress mean that our economic comeback is just getting underway,” said Rep. Graves. “As America continues to lean on the trucking industry to deliver goods and services, we’ll keep working to advance policies that equip small businesses, like local truck dealers, to respond – and win.”
H.R. 2946, the “Heavy Truck, Tractor and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act,” introduced by U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) in June 2017, currently has 20 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill includes language stressing the need for Congress to consider a more reliable and consistent revenue mechanism to fund the Highway Trust Fund in place of the FET.
“It was a privilege to join ATD Chairwoman and fellow Louisianan, Jodie Teuton; Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association President Will Green; and truck dealers from across the country for ATD’s legislative fly-in last week,” Rep. Graves added.
In addition to ATD, other supporters of the FET repeal include Baker Commodities, Bendix Commercial Vehicles, Daimler Trucks North America, Mack Trucks, National Trailer Dealers Association, Navistar, NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, TRALA, Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association and Volvo Trucks North America.
ATD, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association, represents more than 1,800 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships in the U.S.