The American Truck Dealers (ATD) is pushing congressional leaders to suspend the 12% federal excise tax (FET) on new heavy-duty trucks and trailers through 2021. A total of 116 organizations, including the American Trucking Associations, added their support to the ATD-crafted letter.
“As representatives of the trucking industry and other important sectors of the economy, we believe that the suspension of the FET would serve as an extremely effective and immediate policy to spur the sales of newer cleaner trucks, which would retain jobs in the trucking sector and help rebuild our economy,” wrote ATD and its supporters.
The weakened truck demand has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and is expected to suppress truck sales in the U.S. by 50% in 2020. In March, Class 8 truck orders dropped by 52% compared to last year, according to ATD.
“With our nation more dependent than ever on trucking to deliver goods and critical medical supplies, we urge Congress to suspend the FET to bolster our trucking sector and help our economic recovery,” said Steve Bassett, ATD chairman and dealer principal of General Truck Sales in Muncie, Ind.
The letter stressed the 7.8 million Americans whose jobs are somehow tied to the trucking industry, which the nation has been “more dependent than ever … for delivery of goods and critical medical supplies.”
Members of the Modernize the Truck Fleet Coalition, a coalition of truck industry stakeholders, also signed the letter, as well as ATA and a number of manufacturers and national associations.
“Like our customers across the economy, the trucking industry is suffering during this coronavirus crisis and shutdown. Truckers aren’t looking for a bailout as they keep America moving during these challenging times and prepare for our eventual recovery, but a tax holiday on the antiquated federal excise tax would be good medicine to help with liquidity and to stimulate the purchase of newer, safer trucks and trailers,” said Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO.