The trucking industry in New York is asking the state to help communities save money by phasing out the highway use tax (HUT) over the next five years. Currently, New York is one of only five states in the nation that imposes a highway use tax on its commercial truck businesses. Some carriers say the HUT sticker costs $550 per truck, with HUT administration fees ranging from $2000 to $2500 per quarter.
According to a January 2022 Comptroller Report, in 2020-2021, only .17 cents on the dollar supported a new capital investment, leading some carriers to question the efficacy of the HUT. Kendra Hems, President of the Truckers Association of New York, said that if carriers knew the money was being used as it should be, they would not have as big of an issue.
Hems also said that around 30 to 40 percent of trucks on state roads were evading the tax, and those who are avoiding the fee are usually from out of state. Colleen Rejman of Venice Enterprise said that all she wants is an even playing field so that out-of-state companies she’s competing with are paying the same taxes as she is.
The transition to zero emissions by 2035 is already a concern for some businesses, as electric trucks are about three times as expensive as traditional diesel trucks. Hems said that if the trucking industry is forced to bear these costs, they will have to pass them on to consumers, making everything more expensive.
The trucking industry is pushing to keep the registration and fuel tax in place but wants to phase out the highway use tax over the next five years. CBS6 reached out to the State but has not yet received a response. If the state does not take action, the cost burden will continue to fall on the trucking industry and potentially trickle down to consumers.
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