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Truckers Want A Tax Break

by Christine Stuart | Apr 15, 2014 5:30am
(7) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Transportation, Weather

istockphoto

Connecticut truckers say it’s unfair for the state to benefit from the 6.3 percent sales tax on vehicle repairs when it’s the brine the state puts on the roads that causes the damage.

Michael Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association, said the state should give truckers a tax break on the repairs caused by the Transportation Department’s use of magnesium chloride during winter months.

The components on these trucks usually last 10 years, but often they are obsolete in five years because of the materials the state is putting on the roads, Riley said Monday.

He said he heard from one of his members who was cleaning up the body of a flatbed truck and 200 pounds of metal came off the vehicle.

“The state shouldn’t benefit from this damage it caused,” Riley said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wasn’t convinced a tax exemption for truckers was necessary.

He said truckers have the ability to write-off the cost of a commercial vehicle over the life of that vehicle as part of their taxes.

“That already exists with respect to depreciation,” Malloy said.

As far as the average motorist is concerned, Malloy said, what “we’re trying to do is keep people safe and not take on all responsibility in all cases.”

Rep. Pam Sawyer, R-Bolton, successfully amended an omnibus transportation bill with a study of the materials the state puts on its highways. The bill still has to pass both chambers, but if it does the study would be completed before next winter.

She said she understands why Riley would seek the tax exemption. She said the damage to the brake lines and undercarriage of vehicles is substantial and costly for commercial truck drivers and residents.

Riley said they’ve tried to get the state to add a rust inhibitor to the brine they use on the road, but have been unsuccessful.

“Let me assure you, we have spent a lot of money this year on preparing our roads,” Malloy said Monday at an unrelated press event. “And blown through budgets quite frankly in the millions of dollars.”

He suggested that maybe there’s a greater need for trucks to get better “coatings” to prevent corrosion.

Riley said there’s no such thing as a coating that prevents the type of corrosion they’re seeing. He said it costs about $1,800 to get the brake lines of a vehicle replaced and it’s more than just truckers who are upset about this.

An Office of Legislative Research report released earlier this year says the state started using liquid chemicals to pre-wet salt in 2006. The state started with calcium chloride, but switched to magnesium chloride, which was cheaper and more readily available. In 2007 it experimented with a rust inhibitor, but the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were concerned it was depleting oxygen levels in state streams, posing a threat to aquatic life.

“We carefully balance our application rates and even calibrate our equipment regularly to ensure that we don’t use more material than we have to and that we strategically apply materials with little or no waste,” Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the Transportation Department said Monday. “We believe we have struck the best balance putting safety first while addressing concerns about the environment and corrosion through our judicious use of snow and ice chemicals.”

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(7) Comments

posted by: Lawrence | April 15, 2014  7:35am

Really, Mike? The brine? Not driving tens of thousands of miles a year and needing constant service to remain safe? Not trucking companies cheating on maintenance to save a few bucks? Please, give us all a break.

posted by: art vandelay | April 15, 2014  7:36am

art vandelay

Good old sand & salt worked perfectly for decades so why the change?  Simple!  The “greenies” started to complain that it was ruining the environment.  The DOT capitulated to their concerns.  Now we have bridges rusting and cars falling apart.  Go back to the sand and salt.  It worked.  Can’t upset the “Greenies”.

posted by: dano860 | April 15, 2014  10:03am

My son had to replace his lines to the rear brakes and an oil pan on a 2008 pick up truck thanks to their ‘winter solutions’. I will be doing my lines, proactively, in the next week or two also on my 2010 vehicle.
Since labor on repair work isn’t taxed, yet, it may be a nice offering and a boost to our economy, if they would cut taxes on parts installed at a dealer or certified service center.
Let’s not forget, BUSINESS’s (truckers) DONT PAY TAXES, THEY PASS THEM ON TO THE CONSUMER. We end up paying in the end. If you think beef and clothing are expensive now just wait!

posted by: joemanc | April 15, 2014  10:34am

I hate to say it, but the only way the state is going to change it’s ways is for someone to die because their rusted brake lines failed while they were driving. Instead of the state being proactive, they are going to be reactive and will start adding a rust inhibitor once someone dies. No studies need to be done as several other states already add it on their roads. This is government bureaucracy at it’s finest…

posted by: Thomas | April 15, 2014  5:32pm

Art, I think you may be mistaken on the motivation of DOT’s move from Sand/Salt to the deicing chemicals.  The chemical treatments are better at keeping roads ice-free and for longer.  They still cause environmental issues if to local watercourses.  Sand actually is the most environmentally friendly road treatment, also the cheapest.  But that would mean sacrificing public safety in favor of cost and environmentalism.  This is a balance of several competing interests.

posted by: art vandelay | April 15, 2014  7:31pm

art vandelay

@Thomas,
I agree the deicing chemicals may be great at keeping roads ice free longer, but nothing is better than sand for pure traction.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | April 16, 2014  8:53pm

DrHunterSThompson

But i wanna tax break too!

HST