state senators have added provisions to two bills that would give
truckers a break from heavy usage taxes in that state.
tax relief had been offered earlier in a house bill, HB349. However,
that bill’s prospects were considered uncertain, and supporters
said they hoped to amend its provisions into a bill in the Senate.
has historically had pretty unfriendly tax policy toward small-business
truckers,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, said.
“This is an opportunity to address those, and it’s an opportunity
we should seize.”
effort bore fruit March 3 when a provision to exempt large trucks
from the state’s usage tax were added to HB255 by Transportation
Committee Chairman Virgil Moore, R-Leitchfield. According to a spokeswoman
for the Senate Transportation Committee, the amendment to HB255,
unlike HB349, would not increase registration fees, and it would
charge a county clerk fee of $10, not $20. HB255 has been passed
on to the Rules Committee, which will vote this week on whether
to pass it to the full Senate.
4, another bill was amended to add the usage tax break. Ned Sheehy
of the Kentucky Motor Truck Association said the amended version
of HB293 would exempt semis larger than 40,000 pounds from the usage
tax, and would increase registration fees $150 a year for the largest
trucks, while the next three weight categories would see registration
fees rise $125 a year. Those registration fees would be subject
amendment to HB293 was offered by Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan
Kelly, R-Springfield. It passed the Senate Appropriations and Revenue
Committee by a unanimous vote.
the rules for this session, for either amended bill to become law,
they must first pass the Senate before Thursday, March 6, and then
pass the House.
all sales taxes in Kentucky go to the general fund, the tax on trucks
is called a usage tax so the proceeds will go to pay for roads.
However, the tax is not only applied against the purchase or sale
of a truck. If a truck previously tagged elsewhere moves into the
state, the usage tax is applied to the current value of that truck.
usage tax on a $110,000 tractor-trailer purchase in Kentucky would
the current law remained in place, many larger truck firms would
likely move their truck registrations to an office in another state,
Sheehy said. However, owner-operators who cannot afford to have
an office in another state would be forced to pay the usage tax
on their trucks. Even the owner of a 10-year-old truck previously
base plated in Oklahoma would have to pay a usage tax on that truck’s
and the two amended bills are intended to relieve them of that tax
are the fifth-highest taxed state in the country,” Sheehy said.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what the tax structure
has done to the industry – it’s kicked it out.”
truckers from other states had registered in Oklahoma. However,
under new IRP guidelines that go into effect this year, most of
those truckers will have to return their base plates to their home
states. Lawmakers in several states, such as Arkansas, have introduced
bills to remove that tax burden so smaller operators can afford
to base plate at home and remain in business.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor