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Modernize the Truck Fleet Coalition rallies support for repealing FET

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Modernize the truck fleet coalition rallies support for repealing fet
Jodie Teuton, chairwoman of the American Truck Dealers, delivers remarks at a Capitol Hill press conference on June 19, 2019, to increase support in Congress for bipartisan legislation to repeal the federal excise tax on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who is sponsoring the legislation, listens in. (Courtesy: AMERICAN TRUCK DEALERS)

WASHINGTON — The Modernize the Truck Fleet (MTF) coalition rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday to urge Congressional support for bipartisan legislation repealing the 12% federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty commercial trucks and trailers.

“The FET was first enacted to help pay for World War I,” said Jodie Teuton, chairwoman of the American Truck Dealers (ATD). “This tax may have made sense in 1917, but today the FET delays heavy-duty truck fleet turnover by adding more than $20,000 to the average price of a new truck.” Her remarks were made during a press conference held as part of Modernize the Truck Fleet Week June 17-21.

A national network of commercial truck dealers, trade association executives and trucking industry stakeholders are in Washington this week to meet with members of Congress to urge them to cosponsor H.R. 2381 and S. 1839, bills that would repeal the FET and encourage the deployment of the newest trucks and trailers.

“The FET made sense when it was implemented 100 years ago, but just like trucks that were designed in 1917, it’s no longer viable in the modern world. Today, it’s a cost-prohibitive barrier for small businesses looking to upgrade their outdated trucks to safer, cleaner, more modern vehicles,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., sponsor of H.R. 2381, a bill to repeal the FET.

“The average age of most heavy-duty trucks on the road today is nearly 10 years old – that means a decade worth of technological advancements is effectively being sidelined. The 12% FET limits truck replacement by discouraging truck owners from upgrading their outdated vehicles – leading to higher emissions and more dangerous roads. We won’t truly see a modern truck fleet in the U.S. until it’s repealed,” LaMalfa said.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., sponsor of S. 1839, the Senate FET repeal bill, said, “This burdensome tax creates excessive costs that are passed on to truckers, who play an essential role in maintaining our nation’s economy. I was happy to introduce legislation to repeal it.”

The MTF coalition, launched in January, is urging Congress to repeal the FET and identify an alternative source of revenue that reflects today’s modern truck fleet. The coalition includes ATD, Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), NTEA — The Association for the Work Truck Industry, Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, National Trailer Dealers Association (NTDA) and National Tank Truck Carriers Association.

“With an infrastructure bill as likely to pass as any piece of legislation this Congress, this is the time to put all of our combined energy into finding a way to replace the onerous FET,” said Jake Jacoby, TRALA president and CEO. “We are excited to be a part of such a collaborative effort working with truck companies, manufacturers, dealers and end users who all want to put the cleanest, most technologically advanced trucks onto our highways immediately.”

Gwendolyn Brown, NTDA president, said the FET is an unfair method of taxing the trailer industry, and it limits the purchase of newer, safer and greener trailers and parts — all of which are boons to the economy.

“As increasing regulatory burdens are mandated by the EPA, CARB and other government agencies, the costs of heavy-duty trucks and trailers continue to increase making the FET that much more burdensome,” Brown said.

Teuton, a Kenworth and Hino dealer in Louisiana said that America’s trucking industry wants safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to move America’s economy.

“Repealing the FET and replacing it with a tax based on road use paid over the life of a vehicle is part of that solution,” she said. “The FET is an indiscriminate, upfront tax. It makes no sense that a truck which drives 15,000 miles a year pays the same tax as a truck driven 150,000 miles.”

At the press conference, Volvo Trucks North America, a member of the MTF coalition, displayed a World War I-era truck and a new Mack Anthem.

“There is an opportunity, right now, to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, modernize the truck fleet and modernize the Highway Trust Fund,” Teuton said. “Repeal of the FET means more trucks rolling on our nation’s highways that are cleaner and safer.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael R. Demmler

    September 22, 2019 at 8:07 am

    So if you’re going to be fair, implement a lower fet rate for all truck sales.
    Don’t need to penalize those of us who buy a new truck every few years versus those only buy used and never pay that 12%

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The Nation

ATRI releases annual list of top 100 truck bottlenecks; Atlanta makes list 3 times

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Three different areas of Atlanta made ATRI’s list of most congested bottlenecks. (iStock Photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America.

The 2020 Top Truck Bottleneck List assesses the level of truck-involved congestion at 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on truck GPS data from over 1 million heavy duty trucks uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. ATRI’s truck GPS data is also used to support the U.S. DOT’s Freight Mobility Initiative. The bottleneck locations detailed in this latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations, although ATRI continuously monitors more than 300 freight-critical locations.

The intersection of I-95 and State Route 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey is once again the No. 1 freight bottleneck in the country. The rest of the Top 10 includes:

  1. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  2. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
  3. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  4. Atlanta, GA: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  5. Chicago, IL: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  6. Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  7. Cincinnati, OH: I-71 at I-75
  8. Los Angeles, CA: SR 60 at SR 57
  9. Los Angeles, CA: I-710 at I-105

“ATRI’s bottleneck analysis is an important tool for TDOT as we work to maximize the safety and efficiency of our transportation system, and ensure we are making the smartest investments possible,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Assistant Bureau Chief Freight & Logistics Dan Pallme. “The additional capacity we are providing as part of the ongoing I-440 Reconstruction Project should improve the safety and reliability of this important corridor, which we know is critical to freight movement.”

ATRI’s analysis, which utilized data from 2019, found that the number of locations experiencing significant congestion — with average daily speeds of 45 MPH or less — has increased 92 percent in just five years, far outpacing the 10 percent growth in traffic congestion for that same time period.

“ATA has been beating the drum about the continued degradation of our infrastructure, and thanks to ATRI’s research we can see exactly how decades of ignoring the problem are impacting not just our industry but our economy and commuters everywhere,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “This report should sound the alarm for policymakers that the cost of doing nothing is too high and provide a roadmap of where to target investments to really solve our nation’s mounting infrastructure crisis.”

For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, please visit ATRI’s website at TruckingResearch.org.

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Stretch of Highway 22 in Oregon closed after tanker crash, diesel spill

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tanker crash on highway 22
Highway 22 between Idanha and Santiam Junction is unlikely to reopen until Friday or Saturday as crews remove contaminated soil in a roadside ditch and rebuild a 600-foot section of roadway, the Oregon Department of Transportation said. (Courtesy: Oregon State Police)

IDANHA, Ore. — A stretch of Highway 22 will be closed for much of this week as crews clean up gasoline and diesel fuel that leaked out of a crashed tanker truck near Idanha along the North Santiam River, state transportation authorities said Monday.

The highway between Idanha and Santiam Junction is unlikely to reopen until Friday or Saturday as crews remove contaminated soil in a roadside ditch and rebuild a 600-foot section of roadway, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.

An oil sheen was visible on the North Santiam River downstream of the crash site, but officials said most of the tanker’s oil seeped into the ditch, where it was absorbed by the soil. It’s unclear how much entered the river, the Statesman Journal reported.

The city of Salem said Monday that its drinking water is safe and the oil from the spill has not reached its water treatment plant near Stayton, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away from the crash. The oil will take several days to reach the plant, the city said, and teams will test the river water at multiple locations this week. Crews have set up absorbent berms to capture the oil on the water.

If any fuel is detected in the river, the city will close the water intake gates as it did in a similar situation three years ago.

The crash on Sunday closed Highway 22 near Detroit and Santiam Junction. The truck was carrying 10,600 gallons of fuel total — 6,500 gallons of gasoline in a tanker trailer and 4,100 gallons of diesel in the truck’s tanker.

About 7,800 gallons of fuel emptied into a roadside ditch and the rest was recovered, according to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality officials.

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The Nation

FMCSA final rule lowers annual registration costs for motor carriers

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The reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees range from approximately $3 to $2,712 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities. (iStock Photo)

WASHINGTON — Motor carriers will now see a reduction in the price they must pay to register their vehicles. On February 13, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a final rule that realigns the fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan.

According to the document posted on the federal register last week, this rule establishes reductions in the annual registration fees the states collect from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies for the UCR Plan and Agreement for the registration years beginning in 2020.

“For the 2020 registration year, the fees will be reduced by 14.45% below the 2018 registration fee level to ensure that fee revenues collected do not exceed the statutory maximum, and to account for the excess funds held in the depository,” the document reads. “The fees will remain at the same level for 2021 and subsequent years unless revised in the future.”

The reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees range from approximately $3 to $2,712 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities.

The UCR Plan and the 41 States participating in the UCR Agreement establish and collect fees from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies. The UCR Plan and Agreement are administered by a 15-member board of directors; 14 appointed from the participating states and the industry, plus the Deputy Administrator of FMCSA or another Presidential appointee from the Department, according to the final rule.

Revenues collected are allocated to the participating states and the UCR Plan. If annual revenue collections will exceed the statutory maximum allowed, then the UCR Plan must request adjustments to the fees. In addition, any excess funds held by the UCR Plan after payments are made to the states and for administrative costs are retained in the UCR depository, and fees subsequently charged must be adjusted further to return the excess revenues held in the depository.

Adjustments in the fees are requested by the UCR Plan and approved by FMCSA. These two provisions are the reasons for the two- stage adjustment adopted in this final rule.

“While each motor carrier will realize a reduced burden, fees are considered by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–4, Regulatory Analysis as transfer payments, not costs. Transfer payments are payments from one group to another that do not affect total resources available to society. Therefore, transfers are not considered in the monetization of societal costs and benefits of rulemakings,” according to the document.

The rule states that the total state revenue target is more than $107 million.

For more information or the read the rule in its entirety, visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/rulemaking/2020-01761.

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