U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would create a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers.
The bipartisan Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would provide a short-term, fast, and straightforward incentive to attract and retain new drivers. The Spanberger-Gallagher bill would create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A commercial driver’s license who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. Additionally, it would create new incentives for Americans to enter registered trucking apprenticeships.
The bill faces a long approval process. It must be approved by the entire House, and a similar bill passed by the Senate. Then it would go to the White House for the president's signature.
“Over the last two years, we have seen just how important truck drivers are for keeping our economy growing and our communities moving. But to fully combat the shortages and rising costs faced by families and businesses right now, we need to attract even more skilled drivers to the American trucking industry,” said Spanberger. “By creating a refundable tax credit for the men and women who keep our goods flowing, we would encourage more young people to hop in the driver’s seat, reduce headaches for trucking businesses, and make sure experienced drivers are rewarded for their hard work. I want to thank Congressman Gallagher for his partnership on this issue and for focusing on the economic concerns of his constituents.”
The Spanberger-Gallagher legislation is endorsed by the American Trucking Associations, American Loggers Council, Virginia Trucking Association, Virginia Farm Bureau, Virginia Loggers Association, and Virginia Agribusiness Council.
“The pandemic and supply chain issues have shown us the importance of having an adequate supply of qualified truck drivers," said P. Dale Bennett, president & CEO, Virginia Trucking Association. "The trucking industry currently has a shortage of 80,000 drivers and the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act provides a short-term, fast, and straightforward incentive to retain and attract new and former drivers. We applaud Reps. Spanberger and Gallagher for this effort to enhance trucking’s workforce and the efficiency of our nation’s supply chain."
The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would:
- Create a new refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. This tax credit would last for two years (2022 and 2023).
- Create a new refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for new truck drivers or individuals enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship. This tax credit would also last for two years.
- Allow new truck drivers to be eligible for the credit if they did not drive a commercial truck in the previous year or drive for at least 1,420 hours in the current year. They may receive a proportion of the credit if they drive less than 1,420 hours in the year, but drove at least an average of 40 hours a week upon starting to drive.