One of ATD’s greatest strengths is its ability to advocate for all truck dealers, no matter who is in office. There has undoubtedly been a seismic shift in D.C. with the new Biden administration. ATD will continue to advocate for the nation’s truck dealers and the priorities that help secure the future of our businesses.
Knowledge is power and I want all ATD members to be aware of significant changes ahead as the commercial truck industry adapts to a new political environment. Despite slim Democratic majorities in each chamber of Congress, President Biden’s agenda can still pass using reconciliation, a special type of bill that cannot be filibustered and requires only simple majorities to pass. President Biden is also making liberal use of executive orders, issuing more of these directives in his first two weeks in office than Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump combined.
We have all been awaiting the latest infrastructure bill and we’ve made it clear in the past: FET is not the solution! This year, Congress will consider a must-pass highway reauthorization bill. ATD will renew its efforts to repeal the FET on heavy-duty trucks and will oppose legislation that threatens to ground heavy-duty trucks under open recall on a dealer’s lot.
ATD is also focused on tax policies that will impact truck dealers, such as the estate tax and last-in, first-out (LIFO) accounting method. The Biden campaign proposed a reduction of the estate tax exemption to $3.5 million per person and an increase of the top rate to 45%. Currently, the estate tax rate is set with an exemption of $11.7 million per person and a maximum 40% rate. ATD will oppose congressional efforts to repeal the LIFO accounting method. Moreover, ATD is seeking LIFO relief since many franchised dealerships using LIFO are experiencing a decrease in inventory. This could potentially trigger a significant tax liability due to LIFO recapture.
We have no shortage of challenges that affect our day-to-day business, and we cannot make a positive impact on the dealer landscape without your support and participation. Registration for the 2021 ATD Truck Industry Forum opens this month. Consider joining us June 22-23 in Washington, D.C., where we’ll highlight the policy and regulatory issues that matter to our industry.
While politics in the nation’s capital may be partisan, truck dealers are more united than ever advocating for their customers, employees, and dealerships. Our industry has a critical role to play in the decisions coming in the months ahead. I urge our members to get involved and stay engaged. The future is in our hands!