Trucking news and briefings for Friday, July 23, 2021:
FET repeal bill, lauded by trucking groups
A bipartisan bill tabled in the U.S. Senate on Thursday that would repeal the 12 percent federal excise tax on sales of heavy trucks and trailers received support from various groups in the trucking industry.
The Bill, p. 2435, by Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland. both members of the tax committee of the Senate for Finance, which is responsible for transport taxes. The bill would help modernize America’s heavy truck fleet and protect the 1.3 million jobs created by U.S. trucks, according to the Modernize the Truck Fleet Coalition, which includes American truck dealers and other groups -Industry supported.
The repeal of the FET could help fleets replace older heavy trucks with newer, safer, greener trucks. The coalition calls on Congress to incorporate Young / Cardin legislation into bipartisan infrastructure legislation.
The American Trucking Associations approved the coalition, with ATA President and CEO Chris Spear saying the tax was “a relic from World War I that is now used to keep cleaner, safer trucks off the roads of our nation.”
The ATA added that while trucks are cleaner and safer than ever before, “the FET is creating a stumbling block for motor companies to modernize their fleets by penalizing investments in new equipment. As a result, the average age of a truck on the road is now almost ten years. “
First enacted by Congress in 1917 to fund World War I, the FET is the highest percentage consumption tax that Congress imposes on a product and often increases the price of a new heavy truck by more than $ 20,000. The tax, coupled with recent regulatory costs, makes it difficult for small businesses to afford a new truck.
[Related: The coalition that formed in 2019 with goal of repealing the excise tax]
FMCSA finalizes requirements for fully electronic CDL information exchange
Just a week after the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to step up its CDL oversight, the agency finalized a rule requiring states to transmit driver history data entirely electronically through the CDL information system introduce, including the publication of convictions, withdrawals and disqualifications.
The final rule, which was published in the federal registry on Friday, July 23rd and takes effect on August 23rd, requires states to set up electronic systems by August 22nd, 2024 at the latest.
“While all states currently have the technical possibilities to transmit the DHR information via CDLIS, [state driver’s license agencies] cannot do this if the driver information (e.g. driver CDL number, date of birth or state) that CDLIS needs to validate and accept the electronic record is incorrect or missing, ”said FMCSA in the final rule. “In these circumstances, states must rely on alternative delivery methods such as the US mail.”
FMCSA believes that the three-year grace period gives states enough time to overcome these hurdles in order to fully implement the electronic systems.
Truckers charged with smuggling 115 immigrants in trailers
A 43-year-old resident of Rosharon, Texas, allegedly tried to smuggle dozens of undocumented people, according to acting US Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
According to the charges, Michael Warren McCoy was stopped on US Highway 59 about eight miles east of Laredo.
Police report that a truck with Texas license plates was stopped because it was not single-lane. At that time, they severed the seal on the trailer doors and, according to the indictment, discovered a total of 115 people without papers.
The complaint alleges that McCoy is expected to receive $ 250 for transportation and that he had made three similar trips previously.
If convicted, McCoy faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible maximum fine of $ 250,000.