Today’s Pickup: Is it time to tax trucks by the mile?

(Photo: Ryan Stubbs)

(Photo: Ryan Stubbs)

Good morning.

While Congress and the states kick around proposals to increase funding for infrastructure, Robert Atkinson, an opinion writer for The Hill, has backed the idea of charging big rigs taxes based on the number of miles they drive. Certainly not a new idea, pilot programs for a per mile tax have been ongoing in several states, although it is an idea that has not generated a lot enthusiasm within the industry.

Oregon is one state that has been running a pilot program, although it is voluntary and involves mostly automobiles to this point. One sticking point to any mileage-based system would be current fuel taxes. Are they removed? Refunded? Or do they remain, creating two tax systems for trucks? There are lot of questions still to be answered.

Did you know?

Approximately one-third of all tractor-trailer trucks are registered in just three states: California, Florida and Texas.

Quotable:

“We’re a global company. We believe in free trade, and we’re prepared to engage anybody and everybody in discussions about what that means.”

- Roger Nielson, president of Daimler Trucks

In other news:

Are rates about to rise?

Rate volatility has been muted so far this year, but that could change as the year goes on, according to several experts, as the ELD mandate moves close. (CCJ)

GM weighs in on fuel cells

GM’s global head of fuel cell development recently talked fuel cells and where they fit in “land-air-sea” applications during an interview with Trucks.com. (Trucks.com)

Status quo for NAFTA, GHG rules

Daimler Trucks President Roger Nielson said he doesn’t expect any changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement or the upcoming Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Regulations, despite many who think the Trump administration is pushing for changes. (Fleet Owner)

Finding ways to keep drivers

As more data becomes available, fleets are beginning to incorporate it into programs, such as predictive modeling and “gamification” of driver onboarding processes to identify drivers likely to leave within 90 days to help find solutions to keep them onboard. (CCJ)

Creating more supply chain visibility

As customers expect quicker deliveries of online goods, visibility within the supply chain is becoming paramount for retailers. Supply Chain Brain provides a list of some of the more recent entries providing supply chain visibility solutions. (Supply Chain Brain)

Natural gas facing competition

As more alternative fuel options are developed, the current leader in the category, natural gas, is beginning to feel some pressure. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

 Whether you pay by the mile or the gallon, taxes are taxes. Remember what Ben Franklin once said, there is “nothing certain except death and taxes.”

Hammer down everyone!