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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)

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.
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