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Trucking groups call for support of FET repeal bill—again

July 25, 2023
The bipartisan legislation would immediately reduce the cost of new, cleaner, and safer trucks by 12%, making it easier for fleets to upgrade their equipment, the coalition insists.

Emphasizing the immediate benefits of the latest emissions and commercial vehicle safety technologies, American Trucking Associations and another eight trucking organizations and affiliates renewed the effort to repeal the "outdated and counterproductive" federal excise tax, or FET, on heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

The coalition sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee to express strong support for the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act (HR1440, S694). The bipartisan legislation would repeal the FET and immediately reduce the cost of new, cleaner, and safer trucks by 12%, making it easier for fleets to upgrade their equipment.

See also: Cutting taxes could cut emissions faster than imposing EVs on fleets

"Eliminating this tax will remove a barrier to retiring older trucks that lack modern emissions control and safety technologies, allowing owners to replace them with modern, clean models that are safer and more environmentally friendly," the coalition wrote. "Stakeholders across the trucking supply chain stand ready to work with ... leaders in Congress to advance this important proposal."

Nearly half of the trucks in America's trucking fleet were manufactured before 2010. Each new clean-diesel truck will reduce emissions by 83% compared to the pre-2010 model power unit it replaces on our highways, the letter explains.

The coalition adds that today's vehicles are also equipped with the latest safety innovations proven to save lives. New truck models meet 2015 standards for stability control and increasingly include advanced driver assistance systems that improve braking, steering, warning, and monitoring responses to prevent crashes.

In addition to the American Trucking Associations, the letter was co-signed by the leaders of American Truck Dealers, Truckload Carriers Association, National Tank Truck Carriers, NATSO, SIGMA, Diesel Technology Forum, Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, and Clean Freight Coalition.

See also: Can EV enthusiasm spark FET repeal?

NTEA—the Association for the Work Truck Industry has likewise long advocated for FET repeal. In March, NTEA senior vice president Mike Kastner told FleetOwner at Work Truck Week that current legislation provides "the best opportunity we've ever seen" for doing away with the tax.

"NTEA continues to be 100% in support of full repeal and are always happy to see more organizations standing behind repeal," Kastner said in response to the coalition letter.

The National Trailer Dealers Association also has called for FET repeal, citing loopholes and dealer confusion about implementing the tax. The organization regularly offers member training on FET.

"NTDA continues to support dialogue regarding the repeal and/or replacement of the Federal Excise Tax on commercial trucks and trailers," NTDA President Gwen Brown told FleetOwner. "Added regulatory burdens, including those intended to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, continue to increase the cost of new trucks and trailers."

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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