Taking your tags and leaving Oklahoma?

| 4/23/2002

If you're going home to Arkansas, it could cost you. The new "brick-and-mortar" truck registration rules in Oklahoma, mandated by order of the International Registration Plan (IRP), may inflict financial pain on small Arkansas carriers who'll now have to tag equipment in their home state.

Lane Kidd, president of Arkansas Trucking Association, says companies that return would have to pay back sales taxes on equipment before they can be licensed. Kidd told AP that the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration require trucking companies to pay three years' back sales tax on all equipment before they can register vehicles. In Arkansas, that's the law.

Effective last week (April 15), Oklahoma's new law now requires trucking companies registering in Oklahoma to have a physical presence in the state. Many Arkansas trucking companies use agents to register their trucks in neighboring Oklahoma. While larger Arkansas companies often maintain offices in Oklahoma, smaller companies under the new law would either have to register in Oklahoma or relocate to Arkansas, one of seven states without a diesel truck sales tax exemption.

Kidd said Arkansas has more than 1,200 for-hire trucking companies that operate about 2,000 fleets. About 90 percent of those fleets are registered outside the state, Kidd told the AP.
-- Dick Larsen & Sandi Soendker