Louisiana bill would implement another truck tax

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 4/18/2017

Additional costs could soon be applied in Louisiana for certain shipping and transportation services.

A bill in the House Ways and Means Committee would impose state sales and use taxes on the shipment and transportation of tangible personal property.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is opposed to the effort. In a letter to the bill sponsor, the Association referred to the legislation as “another scheme to tax the men and women that literally drive our economy.”

Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of state legislative affairs, said the bill from Democratic Rep. Robby Carter of Amite also fails to address several issues associated with sales and use tax collection.

“We have no idea if it would apply to the shipment of goods that originate in Louisiana, reach their destination in Louisiana (or both), or simply move through Louisiana but do not originate or end in Louisiana,” Matousek wrote in a letter to Carter.

Matousek said the bill appears to include a provision to address administrative and enforcement issues, “but realistically it would be an administrative and enforcement nightmare.”

He added that depending on how the proposed law would actually be implemented the state might open itself up to significant legal challenges. Specifically, the bill could impose excessive burdens on interstate commerce, which is a violation of the U.S. Commerce Clause.

Another point made by Matousek to Carter is the bill places another burden on truck drivers, who already pay their fair share of taxes.

“We encourage you to review the assortment of taxes that truckers already pay. This includes federal and state diesel fuel taxes, federal and state income taxes, heavy vehicle use taxes, Unified Carrier Registration taxes, a 12 percent federal excise tax on the purchase of new tractors, trailers, and tires, and International Registration Plan taxes.”

The bill, HB391, is scheduled for committee consideration on Tuesday, April 18.

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