With Congress now in recess through the Labor Day holiday, the American Truck Dealers (ATD) has issued a call-to-action to its 1,800 members across the country, the association announced Wednesday.
ATD is urging commercial truck dealers to contact their U.S. House members while they are in their home districts and rally support for H.R. 2946, a bill that would repeal the federal excise tax (FET) on the retail sale of most heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers.
“Congressional recesses are the perfect time for truck dealers to meet face-to-face with their House members at their district offices or invite them to the dealership,” says ATD Chairman Steve Parker. “Comprehensive tax reform will be one of the main focuses for Congress this fall, and the FET repeal will likely be part of the tax reform bill.”
The bill, “Heavy Truck, Tractor and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2017,” which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) on June 20, has a growing list of cosponsors. ATD says the bill became bipartisan with the addition of Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) agreeing to support it.
H.R. 2946 currently has 11 cosponsors, including Rep. Ralph Lee Abraham (R-La.), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), and Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas).
ATD says its legislative affairs office is encouraging truck dealers to contact the current cosponsors of H.R. 2946 and thank them for their support.
The 12-percent federal excise tax, which adds $12,000 to $22,000 to the price of a new heavy-duty truck, is the highest percentage rate of any federal excise tax that Congress levies.
“Since the FET is based on annual sales, which can vary greatly, the tax also fails to provide certainty to the Highway Trust Fund,” says Parker, president of Baltimore Potomac Truck Centers, which operates five full-service commercial truck dealership locations with Mack, Volvo and Hino Trucks franchises in Maryland and Virginia. “Congress should repeal this 100 year-old-tax and consider a more reliable and consistent revenue mechanism to fund the Highway Trust Fund.”
In addition to ATD, other trade organizations that have endorsed H.R. 2946 include NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA). ATD says to CLICK HERE for ATD’s issue brief on the FET repeal. CLICK HERE for the bill language.
To contact your U.S. House member, ATD says to visit www.house.gov and enter your zip code, or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.225.3121.
Additionally, ATD says dealers who are interested in hosting a member of Congress at their dealership or meeting at a legislator’s district office during the current congressional recess can contact Patrick Calpin, ATD/NADA director of grassroots advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.547.5500.