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American Truck Dealers call on politicians to freeze Federal Excise Tax on HD Trucks

American Truck Dealers call on politicians to freeze Federal Excise Tax on HD Trucks

Commercial truck dealers traveled to Washington, D.C., recently to urge their House and Senate members to freeze the federal excise tax on the sale of most heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers at its current rate of 12 percent.

The American Truck Dealers second annual fly-in included 67 congressional meetings on Capitol Hill, congressional guest speakers and legislative briefings during ATD’s summer board meeting from June 7-8, 2016. ATD, which represents more than 1,800 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealerships, is a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

“Many members of Congress have never stepped foot in a truck dealership, yet they are charged with creating laws that impact our businesses every single day. That’s why dealer outreach to our legislators on Capitol Hill and back home at the dealership is very important,” said ATD Chairman Steve Parker.

Parker, president of Baltimore Potomac Truck Centers in Linthicum, Md., added that these interactions build face-to-face relationships with elected officials in Washington, D.C., and provide an opportunity for dealers to emphasize the vital role they play as employers in the trucking industry and in communities across the country.

“When you raise the taxes on new, clean, efficient trucks, you encourage people to buy old, dirty trucks, and you don’t move the economy,” said Rep. Tim Walz in remarks to the ATD board members. “[Raising the FET on trucks] is detrimental to business and has unintended consequences. One of those unintended consequences is people purchase older trucks that actually have higher carbon emissions.”

Last year, Rep. Reid Ribble and Rep. Walz introduced House Concurrent Resolution 33, a bipartisan resolution that puts Congress on record in opposition to a FET increase. The measure currently has 31 House cosponsors. Last month, Sen. Cory Gardner introduced the Senate version, Senate Concurrent Resolution 40.

Other ATD legislative priorities include informing Congress about dealer concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly proposed new (Phase 2) commercial truck and engine, greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy rules and their impact on truck dealerships, employees and the economy.