President Clinton's budget recommendations for 2001 include several proposals that are drawing fire from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
One sticking point is the elimination of the quarterly installment payment method for the annual highway use tax (federal form 2290). This tax is currently for trucks 55,000 to 75,000 lbs. GVW. "There could not be a worse time to impose one more hardship on truckers," says Jim Johnston, OOIDA president.
Currently, this truck tax covers the year from July 1 to June 30. Under the current plan, truckers who can't come up with the entire $550 at the same time can set up an installment plan, with payments made on Aug. 31, Dec. 31, Mar. 31, and June 30. Under Clinton's plan, the total tax payment would be due on Aug. 31, starting in July 2002.
"The U.S. has a thirst for fuel that pales in comparison to the U.S. government's unquenchable thirst for tax dollars," Johnston adds.
Another proposal that has been criticized by OOIDA is a five cents per barrel tax on domestic crude and imported oil and petroleum products to be imposed from Sept. 30, 2001 to Oct. 1, 2021.