Trucking companies state their case to Arkansas legislators on Oklahoma tag dilemma

| 5/20/2002

According to Little Rock trucking newspaper, The Trucker, trucking companies in Arkansas are facing possible financially devastating consequences because Oklahoma no longer allows out-of-state carriers to register there. And truckers are making sure legislators know about it.

Not only will licensing trucks be more expensive, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced it will assess sales tax on all equipment purchased for the previous three years if any Arkansas business attempts to register equipment that was previously registered in Oklahoma through a third-party agent.

The Trucker reports that trucking industry representatives in Arkansas met May 3 with legislators where they said that carriers of all sizes choose to register trucks in other states because of sales tax breaks. Lane Kidd, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, testified that Arkansas has more than 1,200 for-hire trucking companies. Up to 90 percent of those fleets are registered outside the state, with 30 to 40 percent registered in Oklahoma. The industry employs about 90,000 in Arkansas, Kidd said.

Large companies in the state can work around the Oklahoma rule change because most have offices in Oklahoma or other states that have the tax exemption. Smaller trucking companies in the state will either have to relocate or register in the state and face the penalties, he said.

According to The Trucker, Kidd said at the meeting that apparently the Arkansas DF&A is interpreting the IRP Board's actions against Oklahoma as an excuse to challenge the validity of the current truck and trailer registrations of Arkansas trucking firms base-registered through third party agents in Oklahoma.