The North Carolina House budget (House Bill 97), which took many turns before its recent passing, now has truckers shaking their heads in opposition and the North Carolina Trucking Association (NCTA) urging its members to take action and contact their representatives.
House Bill 97 sets the gas tax 3 cents lower than diesel tax and raises DMV fees by 30% among other news highlighted in NCTA’s latest legislative update.
Who is NCTA?
NCTA aims to protect the interests of North Carolina's trucking industry by working with state and federal regulatory and enforcement agencies; providing excellence in education, training, and information; and promoting a safe, dependable and cost-effective motor transportation infrastructure to the betterment of the trucking industry in North Carolina.
Follow NCTA @NCTrucking.
De-Coupling Gas and Diesel Tax
North Carolina currently taxes gas and diesel fuel at the same rate, at 36 cents a gallon. HB 97 de-couples gas and diesel fuel tax, reducing the gas tax to 33 cents a gallon in January, while leaving the diesel rate unchanged. Historically in North Carolina, gas and diesel fuel excise tax rates have been the same, until now.
How does this impact the trucking industry?
“It’s just shifting a lot of the burden back on the trucking industry,” said Crystal Collins, president of the NCTA, which represents 350 trucking firms. “We already pay more than a fourth of the total taxes and user fees that are paid by the motoring public.” Read more in The News & Observer.
Higher DMV Fees
NCTA’s update reports DMV fees as the “big, new highway revenue-producer in HB 97”, which early-on called for raising all DMV fees by 50%, but, in the end, they were amended down to a 30% across-the-board fee increase.
According to Collins, “an average five-axle tractor-semitrailer combination truck in North Carolina pays $1,254 in state registration and weight fees, $6,000 in state fuel taxes and $8,906 in federal fuel, excise and heavy-vehicle taxes.”
The Road Ahead
The future of transportation funding is paved with much discussion about the serious long-range problems ahead, and the need to raise more funds to address them. However, the de-coupling of the diesel tax has truckers worried that this establishes a negative precedent for their industry.
NCTA supports “a solution that spreads the costs equitably among users,“ said Collins in an email to members of the House Finance Committee. "Our industry already pays more than its fair share."
It is important that you let your senators know how you feel about this issue! If you need assistance in contacting your senator, email Crystal Collins at NCTA.