ARLINGTON VA – A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 29 would, if passed by Congress, repeal the 12 percent federal excise tax on truck and trailer purchases. H.R. 4321, co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) would replace the tax with an increase in the diesel fuel tax.
The excise tax has been in place since the adoption of Title 26, Section 4051 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1982 and was re-established in 1986. The tax, along with federal fuel taxes, is a source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, which provides monies for surface transportation programs across the country.
In order to protect the Highway Trust Fund from a loss of revenue due to the repeal of the truck and trailer excise tax, the diesel tax would increase by about 6.3 cents per gallon.
Among industry supporters of the bill is the American Trucking Associations (ATA). "Revenues from the excise tax are only paid into the Highway Trust Fund when new trucks are purchased, but when truck sales slump, it puts even more pressure on the already overextended fund," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "By collecting more in the diesel tax, the federal government could ensure a more stable and predictable source of funding for needed highway and bridge projects.”
Graves added in a press release issued by the ATA that the bill would not only reinforce the Highway Trust Fund, but would provide a boost to U.S. manufacturing and speed adoption of environmentally friendly technologies. “It is exactly the kind of pro-growth, deficit-trimming legislation that lawmakers should be looking at as they seek to address our nation’s economic woes,” he said, noting that the repeal of the tax would cut more than $15,000 from the purchase price of a new truck.
The bill’s full text had not yet been made available by the U.S. Government Printing Office as of press time.