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United effort underway to repeal FET

April 15, 2019
Federal Excise Tax on trucks and trailers was first implemented to defray the costs of World War I and has been in existence ever since.

Modernize the Truck Fleet, a coalition of trade associations, commercial truck dealerships and equipment manufacturers, is hard at working trying to repeal federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of new heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

Recently the National Trailer Dealers Association and the National Tank Truck Carriers Association joined founding members of the coalition, the American Truck Dealers, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, the Truck Renting and Leasing Association and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association. They have been working together since the beginning of the year in a united effort to get the FET repealed.

Members of the coalition say the FET is unfair and that as the cost of vehicles continues to rise, in large part because of emissions technologies, the FET also increases.

FET on trucks and trailers was first implemented to defray the costs of World War I and has been in existence ever since. An FET of 12% can add more than $20,000 to the cost of a new truck.

That’s a big number for many trucks buyers and can prevent them from purchasing newer trucks, which tend to be more fuel efficient and better for the environment.

The coalition does acknowledge that the nation’s infrastructure is in a state of disrepair and wants the repeal of FET to be part of a larger discussion on finding a reliable source for funding the Highway Trust Fund and a more permanent solution for having money available to make the much-needed infrastructure improvements.

The high FET on the purchases of new trucks is not the answer to the nation’s highway woes and is a burden to many fleets and owner-operators who want to purchase new vehicles.

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