American Truck Dealers (ATD) Chairman Steve Parker praised the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate to oppose any increase to the federal excise tax (FET) on new heavy-duty trucks. The current 12% FET on the sale of most new heavy-duty trucks is by percentage the highest levied tax by Congress on any product.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced S.Con.Res. 40, which puts the Senate on record opposing an increase of the FET. Companion legislation, H.Con.Res. 33, was introduced in the House by Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) last year and has 30 bipartisan cosponsors.
“The existing 12-percent FET on heavy-duty trucks, which adds nearly $20,000 to the cost of a new truck, is already a severe detriment to businesses looking to replace aging fleets with newer, safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Parker, who is also the president of Baltimore Potomac Truck Centers. “An increase in the FET would only further deter these important investments – investments that help keep our roads safer.”
The FET was originally imposed to help defray the cost of World War I. Since 1955, the excise tax rate on new heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers has increased by 300 percent, ballooning from 3 percent to its current rate of 12 percent.
All of the heavy-duty trucks sold in the U.S. in 2015 were manufactured in North America, so any increase in the FET would depress new heavy-duty truck sales to the direct detriment of the American trucking industry and their more than 8 million U.S. employees.