Kentucky's General Assembly passes usage tax exemption for truckers

| 3/14/2003

One of three bills that offer relief to Kentucky truckers facing heavy usage taxes in that state has passed through the General Assembly and is on the way to the governor for his signature.

HB293 has an amendment that would exempt truckers from the tax, which can run as high as $6,000 on a tractor-trailer.

On March 11, the bill passed the Senate, went to conference committee and was approved by both houses. The Senate vote was 35-0, and the House vote was 80-6.

The original measure to eliminate the tax, HB349, is still stalled in the House and is unlikely to pass. Another bill that contained the relief as an amendment, HB255, passed the Senate earlier and is awaiting approval of the amendment from the House. HB293 was favored by some in the Legislature because it called for increases in truck registration fees to make up for the revenue lost by lowering taxes.

The bills were considered vital to the state’s trucking industry. A number of truckers from Kentucky, Arkansas and other states had base plated in Oklahoma, where taxes are far lower than their home states. But recent decisions by the IRP, a reciprocal agreement between the states, and Oklahoma mean those truckers must move their base plates to their states of residence, which would have cost returning Kentucky truckers thousands in taxes under the old rules.