A bill introduced before the Congress election break would repeal the 12 percent federal excise tax on heavy trucks and trailers and replace it with a 7.3 cents per gallon diesel tax increase.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who said new trucks have sufficient environmental and safety advantages. He said Congress should reduce the barriers to new truck acquisition. Blumenauer noted the revenue generated by the 12 percent excise tax was important for the Highway Trust Fund, but said sales of new trucks and trailers have fallen dramatically during the recession.
"These lost sales have several important effects," Blumenauer said. "By reducing revenue to the trust fund, the decline hinders economic productivity by imposing costs from poor infrastructure. It also reflects an increase in the average age of the trucking fleet." If the tax was repealed, truck sales would increase and "to meet the demand for new trucks, most truck manufacturers will add employees, as most have significant engine and final assembly operations in the U.S."
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