ATD lauds bipartisan FET repeal bill in House

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The American Truck Dealers (ATD) Thursday vocally announced its support for the “Modern, Clean and Safe Trucks Act of 2022,” bill, recently introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.).

This legislation would repeal the 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks and trailers. A similar Senate bill (S. 2435) was introduced last year by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

The FET was first enacted in 1917 to help pay for World War I. The tax is the highest excise tax on a percentage basis that congress levies on a product, often adding as much as $22,000 to the price of a new heavy-duty truck, and as much as $50,000 to the price of an electric or hydrogen fuel-cell truck, given the higher price tag for these vehicles.

“We need new and more environmentally friendly trucks deployed on our roadways,” says Scott McCandless, ATD Chairman and president of McCandless Truck Center. “Half of the Class 8 trucks on the road are over 10 years old and lack the cleaner technologies and fuel efficiency gains of today’s new trucks. The FET is a barrier to our national goal to put more cleaner-emission trucks in service. For electric trucks, the FET is a counterproductive dead weight.” 

“The Federal Excise Tax has outlived its original purpose by more than a century. Between Sacramento and Washington, truckers have dozens of regulations on emissions and safety to follow. However, at the same time, our tax code disincentivizes them from purchasing the most up-to-date trucks, with the Federal Excise Tax adding as much as $30,000 by itself. With American producers and consumers shipping more than ever, we should drop the burdensome tax preventing our truck drivers from having the most modern, highest technology and safest equipment on the road,” adds LaMalfa.

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“As a small business owner, I’ve seen firsthand just how challenging it can be to operate a business, especially when costs rise,” adds Pappas. “This is a time when we must do all we can to lower costs for small businesses and consumers, and cutting the federal excise tax on heavy trucks and trailers will help America's Main Street economy grow, address supply chain challenges and shortages, and lower costs for essential items that families need like groceries and gas.

“Not only will cutting this tax help small businesses and ensure we can transport more goods across the country, but it will also facilitate the adoption of newer, safer, and greener trucks and reduce our dependency on foreign energy sources. I urge leaders in congress to take up this bipartisan bill to provide immediate relief to small businesses and consumers alike.”

McCandless says “America’s truck dealers thank Rep. LaMalfa and Rep. Pappas for their leadership on this issue, which will help speed the adoption of cleaner, greener trucks.”

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