Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Repeal Federal Excise Tax on New Trucks

- Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced legislation aimed at repealing the 12 percent federal excise tax on certain heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers. Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) led a bipartisan effort to unveil the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2019, which would repeal the tax.

“[The tax] is an outdated and unnecessary barrier that discourages truck buyers from upgrading to more modern, cleaner and safer vehicles,” LaMalfa, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a statement. “Most heavy-duty truck owners can’t afford a $20,000 tax bill per new truck, so they don’t buy them. They’re far more likely to purchase used or older trucks with older technology that are not as fuel efficient or don’t achieve the air quality goals the government demands.”

“Repealing this tax would encourage new, and cleaner, fuel-efficient vehicles on our roads,” added Peterson, chairman of the Agriculture Committee. “The [federal excise tax] makes it harder to invest in safer and cleaner fleets and does not represent the usage these vehicles are putting on our roads.”

Additionally, the lawmakers argued, the revenue generated from the tax is unreliable due to inconsistent year-to-year sales of trucks. They noted the revenue is directed to the Highway Trust Fund, an account used to assist states with infrastructure maintenance and construction.

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