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11/12/2012 8:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Opinion: Trucking Is Still Overtaxed

To further the point, take a look at the state of Alabama.

First, certain transactions relating to transportation equipment are exempt from Alabama sales and use taxes. These exemptions include the purchase of railcars by trucking’s competitors. Not only that, but aircraft delivered in the state are not taxed if they are not permanently domiciled in Alabama and are removed from the state within three days of delivery.

Second, when trucking’s competitors purchase parts and supplies for aircraft used by air carriers with hub operations in Alabama, those transactions also are exempt.

Finally, consider the April 18 decision made by the Alabama Department of Revenue, Administrative Law Division, in the matter of Boyd Bros. Transportation Inc. v. Alabama Department of Revenue. In that case, interstate motor carrier Boyd Bros. was subject to the state’s tax on the use of tractors and trailers within its borders, even though not all tractors and trailers in the audit period were purchased in Alabama.

Clearly, motor carriers are at a competitive disadvantage when purchasing transportation equipment — at least when compared with air or rail carriers.

What can be done? Motor carriers, along with state motor trucking associations, American Trucking Associations, the National Accounting & Finance Council and industry consultants should keep working to level the playing field by educating lawmakers and implementing tax-planning strategies that will make motor carriers more competitive with air and rail carriers.

National Fleet Services, Cumming, Ga., provides customized solutions to U.S. and Canadian commercial fleets, and services including fleet titling, registration and permitting; driver qualification; and cost reduction.

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