Effort to repeal Federal Excise Tax gaining steam

During a presentation Wednesday at ACT Research’s biannual seminar, American Truck Dealers (ATD) Chairwoman Jodie Teuton of Kenworth of Louisiana says she believes the ATD has made headway in its effort to repeal the Federal excise tax (FET) of 12 percent on new truck purchases.

Enacted in 1917 to generate revenue for World War I, today FET is routed to the Highway Trust Fund to help fund federal government spending for highways and mass transit. As one of the highest taxes on a new manufactured good in North America, ATD believes the tax is outdated and unfair, Teuton says. She says the organization believes the volatility of the new truck market makes excise tax revenue unreliable year-over-year, and is hampering a trucking industry that continues to be pressured from outside forces to evolve.

Repealing FET would not only reduce the price of a new truck, it also would ramp up truck purchases and the rate at which the trucking industry commits to new clean diesel technology.

In her presentation Wednesday, Teuton says ATD has worked with congressmen to introduce legislation in both houses of Congress to repeal FET. (House resolution 2946 was introduced by Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California and has bipartisan support; Senate bill 3052 was introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.)

She says ATD believes coupling its FET message as part of larger infrastructure legislation is likely the organization’s best chance for success in repealing the tax. Teuton adds that ATD supports researching other initiatives to fill the space in the Highway Trust Fund that would be vacated by an FET repeal.

Whatever comes next, Teuton and ATD believe it’s time for a change.

“We’ve given and given and given and there’s never been a break. There needs to be,” she says.

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