Industry organizations support repeal of tax on new trucks

Updated Jul 27, 2021

The Modernize the Truck Fleet, a coalition of trucking industry stakeholders – including the American Truck Dealers (ATD), American Trucking Associations and other groups – have announced its support for recently introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal the 12% federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

The bill, S. 2435, was introduced by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) both members of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over transportation-related taxes. The coalition says the tax repeal will help modernize America’s heavy-duty truck fleet and protect the 1.3 million jobs supported by the U.S. trucking industry. Repeal of the FET would allow fleets to replace older heavy-duty trucks with newer, safer and greener trucks. The coalition is urging Congress to include the Young/Cardin legislation in the bipartisan infrastructure legislation.

The FET was first enacted by Congress in 1917 to help fund World War I and is the highest excise tax on a percentage basis that Congress levies on a product, often adding over $20,000 to the price of a new heavy-duty truck. The tax coupled with recent regulatory costs makes it more difficult for small businesses to afford a new truck.

"With most heavy-duty trucks over ten years old, passing this bill is crucial to help America modernize its aging truck fleet," said Steve Bassett, ATD chairman and dealer principal of General Truck Sales in Muncie, Indiana.