Wisconsin Organization Rallies Against Trucking Tax
Truck drivers are used to paying their share in expenses, fees, and taxes. Drivers and trucking organizations are usually fine with paying their part to keep up the infrastructure they use.
However, sometimes a charge is levied on truckers in a controversial manner. Some of these have to do with the areas where the money will be spent, while others deal with the pressure it will put on the trucking industry in a given state.
A controversy developed in Rhode Island several months ago when state legislators moved to levy additional toll charges on truck drivers. Given that there was no legal guarantee that these funds would be spent on the roads truckers drive on, and instead would be used for other state projects, many within the industry took a stance against the move.
A similar situation has developed in Wisconsin, with WMC (Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce) representatives speaking out against a proposed tax increase they believe will impact the state’s economy in a negative manner.
The state’s lawmakers have been discussing the possibility of a new tax on larger trucks. The move is estimated to raise around $135 million, though may believe it is an anti-business proposal.
Truck drivers have supported the idea of gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, as these resources have historically been used to pay for infrastructure in many locations. But a tax on heavier trucks would dissuade businesses from delivering freight within the state, as it would levy an expense on them unrelated to the standard costs drivers face.
Some claim this is nothing more than a tool used to increase revenue and help the state meet its budget responsibilities. A lingering funding gap for road construction has presented problems for the state, causing legislators to clash. The new tax proposal has local trucking groups and advocates of economic freedom to warn state officials of the dangers a tax increase could create.
A state Senate plan suggested borrowing $850 million for road construction. While improved infrastructure would be a long-term benefit for the trucking industry, raising taxes in the present could have an immediate negative impact on both trucking companies and the economy that relies on freight transport.