The new coalition representing trade groups, commercial-truck dealerships and equipment manufacturers is working to repeal the 102-year-old federal excise tax (FET) levied on the sale of new heavy-duty trucks and trailers.
“The FET is an unfair method of taxing the trailer industry, and it limits the purchase of newer, safer and greener trailers and parts—all of which are boons to the economy,” said Gwendolyn Brown, NTDA president. “As increasing legislative burdens are mandated by the EPA, CARB and other government agencies, the costs of heavy-duty trucks and trailers continue to increase, making the FET that much more burdensome.”
The NTDA has supported open discussions and proposals to amend the laws governing the FET since a small group of dealers came together in 1990 to form its association.
“We are pleased to support the coalition today,” Brown added. “There is optimism among members of the coalition that now is the time to actively effect change to the law.”
The MTF coalition, which launched in January 2019, includes the American Truck Dealers (ATD), The Association for the Work Truck Industry (NTEA), Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA).
“The FET is confiscatory and just plain wrong,” said Daniel R. Furth, NTTC president. “The FET is the highest percentage tax levied by the federal government, which hurts tank truckers more than any other trucking segment given the high cost of our specialized trailers. The FET is a tax dinosaur originally intended to defray costs of World War I in 1917, and more than 100 years later, the tax clearly discourages capital expenditures on new equipment—impinging both growth and employment.
“At a time when our infrastructure is in such notable disrepair, the country needs to rethink outdated tax policies like the FET and get to work on real funding mechanisms for the future of our economic prosperity
“Our carriers are pleased to join the MTF coalition alongside our industry peers.”
The MTF coalition has been advocating for repeal of the FET as part of a larger infrastructure package that Congress is debating to help fix both America’s roads and bridges and the broken Highway Trust Fund, into which funds from the FET are paid.
“The 12% FET often adds more than $20,000 to the cost of a truck, and the MTF is telling Congress it’s time to change course,” said Jodie Teuton, ATD chairwoman. “Repealing this antiquated tax and replacing it with a reliable revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund will eliminate a burdensome roadblock for truck and fleet owners and operators to deploying the newest, safest and most environmentally friendly trucks and trailers.”