The Ohio house has passed a bill that would give employers a $25,000 tax credit for training new truck drivers if passed in the Senate. 

House Bill 197 passed the house 97-0 this week and is backed by both trucking and business organizations The Center Square reports.

“I am a small business owner, and the hardest position to fill in my company has always been a CDL truck driver because they are in such great demand,” Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus, R-Paris Township, said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee. “After getting frustrated because I could not find drivers, I started training current employees to be drivers on my own dime. Having trained several employees of my own, I know what a huge expense this can be to a company.”

The potential tax breaks would reportedly be temporary and capped at $1.5 million annually. It would also apply to truck driver training that began January 1st, 2022 and later. 

“We all know how important and valuable commercial vehicle operators are to our economy and we also know that there is a major need as it relates to commercial vehicle operators,” said Kevin Boehner, director of small business and workforce policy at the Ohio chamber.

“This [lack of truck drivers] is a problem sweeping the nation, yet, unfortunately, many states, including Ohio, do not have adequate support established to individuals overcome the financial barriers when trying to become a commercial vehicle driver,” Edwin Nagle, chair of the Ohio Trucking Association and president of Nagle Companies said. “Once again, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important the trucking industry is to our daily lives.”

The bill will now head to the Senate.

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