May 17, 2005

CRAPO ADDS FARM BENEFIT TO TRANSPORTATION BILL

Wins tax exemption on truck, trailer parts hauling goods on farms

Washington, DC â?? Farmers and agricultural interests will benefit by a tax exemption in hauling farm goods after harvest under language Idaho Senator Mike Crapo got included in the transportation spending bill approved today by the U.S. Senate. The exemption would lift a 12% excise tax on certain truck-mounted bulk beds, many of which are manufactured in Idaho. The bulk beds are used for hauling crops such as potatoes, sugar beets, onions, and grain.â??A 2003 study indicates this egregious excise tax was directly responsible for a 40% decline in truck equipment sales in Eastern Idaho,â?? said Crapo, who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over tax issues. â??This tax brought an economic loss of around $2.7 million in the eastern part of our state alone and forced producers to purchase equipment from Canada to avoid paying the tax. I inserted language in the transportation bill to eliminate it, but we will have to make sure the language is carried through to the conference committee on the final legislation.â??Crapo called the changes a win-win situation. â??It benefits not only the manufacturers and employees of the companies making these truck beds in Idaho and elsewhere, but also the farmers growing the produce and those hauling it to market,â?? he added.Over the years, there have been conflicting rulings from the IRS as to whether or not these bulk beds are subject to the excise tax. The current governing ruling from the IRS, which has been in effect since 2001, is that the bulk beds are subject to the excise tax. The majority of bulk beds sold in the U.S. are manufactured in Idaho. Crapoâ??s language clarifies that certain truck-mounted bulk beds used for hauling farm crops are exempt from the federal excise tax on heavy trucks and trailers. Many of the operations which manufacture such truck beds are located in Idahoâ??s Bannock, Bingham, and Power Counties.