Members of Congress have unveiled additional legislation aimed at alleviating the national truck driver shortage.
U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) have introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R.2450 - Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act of 2023) to help address America’s truck driver shortage.
The proposed legislation establishes a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers.
In 2021, American trucking companies experienced a record deficit of approximately 80,000 drivers due to hiring and retention challenges.
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) is backing the act and said, across the country, trucking companies have struggled to hire drivers without offering bonuses or increased wages to qualified drivers.
Additionally, the median age of U.S. truck drivers now sits between 51 and 52-years old meaning many are toward the end of their careers.
The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would provide a short-term, fast, and straightforward incentive to attract and retain new drivers, the NLBMDA said.
This bill creates a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. Additionally, it would help get more Americans on the road by establishing new incentives for Americans to enter registered trucking apprenticeships.
Here are key components of the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act:
- Creates a new refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. This tax credit would last for two years (2023 and 2024).
- Creates a new refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for new truck drivers or individuals enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship. This tax credit would also last for two years.
- Allows 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 1,420 hours in the current year. They may receive a proportion of the credit if they drive less than 1,420 hours in the year but drove at least an average of 40 hours a week upon starting to drive.