Press Release: Provided by Congressman LaMalfa

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2019—Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after holding a press conference at the United States Capitol for “Modernize the Truck Fleet Week.” LaMalfa highlighted his legislation, H.R. 2381, the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2019, which repeals the 100-year-old federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks.

 LaMalfa said: “The FET made sense when it was implemented 100 years ago, but just like trucks that were designed in 1917, it’s no longer the best option in the modern world. Today, it’s a cost-prohibitive barrier for small businesses looking to upgrade their outdated trucks to safer, cleaner, more modern vehicles. The average age of most heavy-duty trucks on the road today is nearly 10 years old—that means a decade worth of technological advancements is effectively being sidelined. The 12% FET limits truck replacement by discouraging truck owners from upgrading their older vehicles, which doesn’t help to lower emissions or improve truck safety. We won’t truly see a modern truck fleet in the U.S. until it’s repealed.” 

“The FET was enacted to help pay for World War I,” said Jodie Teuton, chairwoman of the American Truck Dealers (ATD). “This tax may have made sense in 1917, but today the FET delays heavy-duty truck fleet turnover by adding more than $20,000 to the average price of a new truck.” Her remarks were made during a press conference held as part of “Modernize the Truck Fleet Week” (June 17-21). Added Teuton, “With the average age of a heavy-duty truck on the road almost 10 years old, Congress should adopt policies to help trucks buyers incorporate the latest environmental and safety technology developed in recent years.” 

Jake Jacoby, President and CEO of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), stated, “With an infrastructure bill as likely to pass as any piece of legislation this Congress, this is the time to put all of our combined energy into finding a way to replace the onerous FET. We are excited to be a part of such a collaborative effort working with truck companies, manufacturers, dealers and end users who all want to put the cleanest, most technologically advanced trucks onto our highways immediately.”

 More information on FET and heavy-duty trucking:

The average age of a heavy-duty truck on the road is 9.6 years old.

Since 2000, technologies to meet new emissions standards have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions of recently purchased heavy-duty trucks by 97%, but these regulations and fuel efficiency standards add nearly $40,000 to the price of a new truck.

Recent model year trucks have the latest safety features built in, including electronic stability control, which helps prevent rollovers, anti-lock brakes and enhanced braking, driver air bags, LED headlights, and marker lighting to help improve nighttime visibility.

On average, the FET adds between $12,000 – $22,000 to the final sale price of a new truck and delays fleet turnover of newer, cleaner, higher fuel-efficiency trucks.

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.

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