ATA, CTA seek fuel tax revision
Jul 19, 2007 10:37 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) urged state governments in the United States and provincial governments in Canada to revise their fuel tax systems to encourage truckers to use environmentally friendly idling reduction technology, according to ATA information.
The ATA and CTA asked the International Fuel Tax Association Inc (IFTA) member jurisdictions to stop taxing fuel used to operate idling reduction technology, mainly the auxiliary power unit (APU) that reduces diesel fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by large truck engines. The International Fuel Tax Agreement is the organization of states and provinces through which motor carriers' fuel use tax obligations are administered uniformly throughout North America.
The primary reason for large truck engine idling is to heat or cool the cab for long-haul drivers during periods of rest. However, several studies have shown that using a heavy-duty truck engine to power the heating and cooling of a truck cab is inefficient and environmentally unsound, according to ATA.
The use of idling reduction technology could reduce the fuel consumption of a long-haul tractor by some 1,900 gallons (7,200 liters) per year-which equates to an emissions reduction of greenhouse gases of some 42,000 pounds (19 metric tons), according to CTA.
The cost of an APU varies with the type of device, anywhere from $6,000 to a top price of about $10,000, with an average of about $7,750. Likewise, the fuel consumption of an APU will vary, but may be estimated for an over-the-road operation at 500 gallons (1,900 liters) a year. At the average US state fuel tax rate of about 22 cents per gallon and Canadian provincial rate of 15 cents a liter, an exemption would represent a tax savings of more than $100 a year ($280 Canadian).
ATA and CTA have invited the states and provinces to meet with national staff of the trucking associations or with local associations to provide more insight into the environmental benefits associated with this proposed tax change.
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