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Government collects $13K yearly on typical truck

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Trucks such as this one turning onto Spreckels Avenue in Manteca have annual tax bills typically costing $13,000 or more.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED November 20, 2013 1:13 a.m.

Trucks do more than just move virtually all goods we consume and keep the economy rolling. They also deliver money to the tune of $13,000 plus a year to state and federal government coffers.

At the same time they also are under the gun to put cleaner and more fuel efficient trucks on the road with compliance costs often soaring past $60,000 per truck.

Taxes and air quality mandates are a big issue for those who rely on trucking to make a living.

The growing concentration of distribution centers in Manteca, Lathrop, Tracy, and Stockton plus agriculture has made the South County home to numerous trucking concerns from independents and regional carriers to national haulers.

And that means jobs.

AC Trucking — among the full load carriers in Manteca — employs 45 people and has been in business for 30 years. Mountain Valley Express, a less than truckload hauler headquartered in Manteca, started in 1976 with a single truck running out of a yard on Moffat Boulevard. Today the firm has 480 jobs system wide.

The principals in both trucking firms — Al Nunes of AC Trucking and Scott Blevins of Mountain Valley Express — are both past presidents of the California Trucking Association. The two shared a perspective on the challenges facing the trucking industry last week during the Manteca Rotary meeting at Isadore’s Restaurant.

They noted if you tell a trucker that they aren’t paying their fair share of taxes you may get an earful courtesy of research conducted by the California Trucking Association.

A typical truck based in the Golden State generates $13,000 a year in state and federal taxes with $8,000 of that going to California.

That includes:

• 24 cents a gallon federal diesel fuel tax.

• $500 heavy vehicle use fee tax.

• federal excise tax equivalent to 12 percent of the retail price of a truck, tractor or trailer.

• tire tax at the rate of $26 per new tire.

• 36.7 cents a gallon state diesel fuel tax.

• motor carrier permit fee for hire carrier of between $120 and $3,030 yearly per truck.

• motor carrier permit fee for private carrier between $35 and $1,030 yearly per truck.

• California vehicle license fee of .0065 percent annually based on the purchase price. (For a typical truck costing $150,000 new that is a $975 annual tax.)

• BIT fees of $270 to $1,870 plus a $400 registration fee.

• Permanent trailer identification fee of $20.

• CVRA fee of $122.

• CVRA weight decal fee of $13.

• Cargo theft interdiction program fee of $3.

• CHP CVRA fee of $24.

• Unified Carrier Registration fee of $76 to $73,346.

That is on top of mandated diesel engine upgrades that can run $40,000 to $60,000 per truck depending on the horsepower. Independents have to comply by the deadline next year or they can’t legally operate. Others have to have the vast majority of their fleets converted with the rest completed shortly thereafter.

Other mandates such as skirts on 53-foot trailers to reduce air drag in a bid to improve fuel efficiency is costing another $1,200 to $1,500 per trailer.

Blevins said the California Air Resources Board has data that shows trucks equipped with the skirts gain fuel efficiency when they travel at 62 mph or more. Blevins noted the only problem is trucks in California can’t go over 55 mph.

He added that on hauls out of state where trucks can go 62 mph and faster they do help improve fuel efficiency.

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