Press Release

July 22, 2021
Cardin, Young Introduce Bill to Repeal Outdated Federal Excise Tax on Heavy Trucks and Trailers

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2021. The bipartisan bill would repeal the federal excise tax (FET) on heavy trucks and trailers, which was established over 100 years ago to support efforts to pay for World War I.

Today, the 12 percent FET is the highest percentage excise tax levied on any product and at the same time it is an unpredictable and minimal source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. The tax also discourages private investment to modernize America’s truck fleet with cleaner and safer trucks and trailers.

“Our tax policy is one of the most effective ways Congress can encourage cleaner and greener technology. The current federal excise tax has become a barrier to the progress,” said Senator Cardin. “I am proud to support Maryland manufacturers in their efforts to innovate and deploy cleaner and safer technologies in our trucking industry. Our legislation will spur growth and competitiveness while making our roads safer and less polluted.”

“It’s time to repeal this outdated and onerous tax on our Hoosier truckers,” said Senator Young. “Our bipartisan bill will open the floodgates to investment in safer and cleaner trucks and trailers that will benefit our economy and the environment.”

“On behalf of the trucking industry, we thank Sen. Young and Sen. Cardin for their bipartisan legislation to repeal the FET, which will result in cleaner safer trucks on the road,” said Steve Bassett, ATD chairman and dealer principal of General Truck Sales in Muncie, Ind. “With most heavy-duty trucks over ten years old, passing this bill is crucial to help America modernize its aging truck fleet.” 

“Cummins supports Senators Young and Cardin’s effort to repeal the outdated and burdensome Federal Excise Tax on heavy duty trucks. This tax penalizes those who want to adopt the cleanest, most advanced technologies to reduce emissions and improve safety, and repealing it will help ensure the most efficient technologies are being deployed. We applaud Senators Young and Cardin’s leadership on this issue important to the environment, our customers and our communities,” said Jennifer Rumsey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cummins Inc., headquartered in Columbus, Ind.

For the full bill text, click here