LaMalfa: Federal Excise Tax Limits Truckers’ Ability to Keep America Moving

Jun 23, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, DC) Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) supports the trucking industry’s call to suspend the federal excise tax (FET). The FET was created in 1917 to help pay for World War I. When it was introduced, the FET was 3%, but has quadrupled to 12% today. Given the nature of recent economic hardships caused by the coronavirus, suspending the FET would stimulate heavy-duty truck and trailer sales.

LaMalfa said: “Truckers have kept America moving during the coronavirus pandemic, but this unnecessary tax limits even their ability to rebound after America’s economic shutdown. Suspending the FET would increase the purchasing power of our truckers when upgrading their rigs, while also increasing the number of safe, clean trucks on the road. With infrastructure bills and more coronavirus legislation on the horizon, we should consider this commonsense proposal and bring our trucks into the modern era.”

“With our nation more dependent than ever on the trucking industry to deliver goods and critical medical supplies, America’s truck dealers commend Rep. LaMalfa for his leadership to suspend the FET,” said Steve Bassett, chairman of American Truck Dealers and dealer principal of General Truck Sales in Muncie, Ind. “The trucking industry, including the UAW, is behind FET suspension because it is one of the best ways to help jumpstart the economy and save trucking-related jobs.”

More information on FET and heavy-duty trucking:

  • The average age of a heavy-duty truck on the road is 9.6 years old.
  • Since 2000, technologies to meet new emissions standards have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions of recently purchased heavy-duty trucks by 97%, but these regulations and fuel efficiency standards add nearly $40,000 to the price of a new truck.
  • Recent model year trucks have the latest safety features built in, including electronic stability control, which helps prevent rollovers, anti-lock brakes and enhanced braking, driver air bags, LED headlights, and marker lighting to help improve nighttime visibility.
  • On average, the FET adds between $12,000 - $22,000 to the final sale price of a new truck and delays fleet turnover of newer, cleaner, higher fuel-efficiency trucks.