This week, lawmakers reintroduced a bill that would create a refundable income tax credit for truck drivers in hopes of bringing and keeping more workers in the trucking industry.
The bipartisan Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act was reintroduced by U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) on Thursday, March 30.
Lawmakers say that the the bill would provide a “short-term, fast, and straightforward incentive to attract and retain new drivers.”
The bill would create a a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7500 for truck drivers holding a valid CDL-A who drive at least 1900 hours per year.
The legislation would also create a new refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for new truck drivers or individuals enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship. If passed, the bill would allow new truck drivers to be eligible for the credit if they did not drive a commercial truck in the previous year or drive for at least 1420 hours in the current year. his means that new drivers could receive a proportion of the tax credit if they drive less than 1420 hours in the year, but drove at least an average of 40 hours a week upon starting to drive.
“During the pandemic, truckers didn’t have any remote options — yet they went to work every single day to keep our economy moving and our communities strong. Our country needs to step up and recognize their hard work — and we need to encourage more Americans to enter this industry,” said Spanberger. “Throughout Virginia, I hear about the need to address our chronic truck driver shortage. Our bipartisan bill would help bring more drivers into the fold, keep them on the highway, and reward them for their loyalty. I want to thank Congressman Gallagher for his continued partnership on this legislation, and I look forward to seeing more young Americans hop in the driver’s seat.”
“The truck driving industry is facing a massive workforce shortage that’s disrupting nearly every aspect of our supply chains,” said Gallagher. “We need to encourage more young men and women to join this career path, and this bipartisan bill is a common sense way to recruit and retain more drivers to keep our shelves stocked and our economy moving.”
Groups endorsing the bill include the American Trucking Associations, American Loggers Council, Virginia Trucking Association, Virginia Farm Bureau, Virginia Loggers Association, Virginia Agribusiness Council, National Grocers Association, International Foodservice Distributors Association, American Building Materials Alliance, Forest Resources Association, Hardwood Federation, Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, Third Way, and National Pork Producers Council.
“Reducing the nationwide shortage of qualified truck drivers will require investment in developing the next generation of trucking talent. Even as driver pay continues to rise at a historic clip, the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act will provide even more incentive for those considering a career in trucking but by providing substantial tax credits to reduce their federal tax liabilities. The bill also would provide relief for Americans currently driving trucks, helping the industry retain these essential workers. This bipartisan legislation will make a meaningful difference in the lives of new truckers, helping them move into one of the few professions in today’s economy that can provide a middle-class lifestyle without the time and expense of a four-year college degree. ATA thanks Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Mike Gallagher for their leadership on this critical issue and for being strong advocates for America’s truck drivers,” said Chris Spear, President & CEO, American Trucking Associations.