American Trucking Associations (ATA) president and CEO Bill Graves called on Congress to swiftly adopt a proposal introduced by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to repeal the 12% federal excise tax on large trucks and replace it with a modest increase in the federal diesel fuel tax.

“The proposal by Congressmen Gerlach and Blumenauer would not only reinforce the ailing Highway Trust Fund, but would provide a boost to U.S. manufacturing and speed adoption of environmentally friendly technologies,” Graves said. “It is exactly the kind of pro-growth, deficit-trimming legislation that lawmakers should be looking at as they seek to address our nation’s economic woes.”

The bill, introduced today, would eliminate the 12% federal excise tax on heavy truck sales and replace it with a 6.3-cent increase in the federal diesel tax.

“Revenues from the excise tax are only paid into the Highway Trust Fund when new trucks are purchased, but when truck sales slump, it puts even more pressure on the already overextended fund,” Graves said. “By collecting more in the diesel tax, the federal government could ensure a more stable and predictable source of funding for needed highway and bridge projects.

“Further, by cutting more than $15,000 from the cost of the average new truck, eliminating the excise tax will encourage purchases of trucks, providing a boost for manufacturing and accelerate the adoption of new technologies aimed at improving safety and fuel efficiency,” Graves said. “Legislation like this is a win-win for the government and for the business community and should be swiftly enacted.”

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