Today’s Pickup: Lawsuit says Indiana illegally collected $1B in UCR fees

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Good day,

The man behind the trucker march on Washington last month is back with a new group and a new billion-dollar lawsuit. James Lamb and his Small Business in Transportation Coalition has sued Indiana over the collection of Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) fees. The group is seeking class-action status and claims that Indiana illegally collected more than $1 billion in fees from drivers and carriers across the country.

Indiana collects UCR fees on behalf of 41 states that allows companies to pay one entity rather than each state separately. According to attorney Jim Bopp, the Indiana Department of Revenue (INDOR) collects over $100 million a year in fees, but is not authorized by the state legislature to do so.

“Without such authority under Indiana law, INDOR’s nationwide collection of the UCR-related fees is unlawful and every trucker since 2008 is entitled to a refund of these illegally collected fees,” Bopp told the Indianapolis Star.

The lawsuit was filed on Friday in Marion County Superior Court.

“I’m a conservative who does not want to see government overreaching, taxing people and collecting money unless the people authorize it through the legislature,” Bopp told the paper. “What’s important to me is that government stays within its bounds. This has got to be one of the most expensive violations of law that I’ve seen.”

Lamb is currently involved in a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission over marketing places. The FTC alleges Lamb and his companies tricked small trucking businesses into paying him $19 million by pretending they represented government agencies. Lamb countersued, claiming that disclaimers on all marketing materials indicated his companies were third parties.

Did you know?

According to Deloitte, by 2026, electric commercial vehicles will still only account for 5% of global market share due to battery size limitations, even as the cost of such vehicles will be cut in half.

Quotable:

“Without such authority under Indiana law, [Indiana Department of Revenue’s] nationwide collection of the UCR-related fees is unlawful and every trucker since 2008 is entitled to a refund of these illegally collected fees.”

- Jim Bopp, attorney for the Small Business in Transportation Coalition in a lawsuit against Indiana

In other news:

Holiday season driving delivery companies to raise wages

In an effort to attract workers this holiday season, delivery companies are being forced to offer above-average wages. (Reuters)

Solving the technician shortage

Fleets are on the lookout for technicians, hoping to solve a shortage problem that has vexed the industry for years. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Are we there yet?

Automation is quickly moving into the industry, but how close is the industry to actually being able to move freight autonomously? (Kenco)

Debt threatens supply chain efficiency

According to leading experts, heavy debt load of public companies is a threat to suppliers and supply chain companies, increasing the risks of non-payment. (Inbound Logistics)

Chinese electric truck maker to ramp up production in Canada

Citing a friendlier environment for the development of electric vehicles and Chinese companies, truck maker BYD will build a facility in Canada to make the vehicles. (Clean Technica)

Final Thoughts

There has been a steady drumbeat to increase driver wages, but that drum is beating louder as delivery companies are being forced to pay even higher wages than normal this holiday season just to attract drivers and other workers to help with the holiday rush.

Hammer down everyone!

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