Bill would replace 12 percent excise tax with diesel tax

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 4/2/2012

A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would scrap the 12 percent excise tax on heavy equipment and replace it with an increase in the diesel fuel tax. Truckers would either save money or see their cost increase depending on whether they buy their equipment new or used.

The intent of the bill offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, is to reduce the tax burden for those buying new trucks and trailers, and benefit the manufacturers by increasing sales incentives.

Dubbed the Heavy Truck Tax Fairness Act, the bill calls for a 6.4-cent increase in diesel taxes to make up the shortfall that the tax break on new equipment would leave in the Highway Trust Fund.

Since the excise tax only applies to new equipment, truckers who buy used equipment or hold on to older equipment would see their costs increase due to the diesel hike. Even Blumenauer noted that effect in his remarks to the House on Thursday, March 29.

Blumenauer offered similar legislation in 2010 and 2011.

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