ATA calls for fuel tax credits action in Budget

Move would address historic overcharging and act as an effective tax cut, St Clair says

ATA calls for fuel tax credits action in Budget
St Clair seeks action on fuel credit and ATSB funding

The Australian Trucking Association is seeking a 1.04 cents per litre fuel tax credits increase in the next Budget.

Trucking businesses can claim fuel tax credits through their business activity statements, it says, with an increase in fuel tax credits is effectively a tax cut.

The call is one of the recommendations in the ATA’s 2014-15 pre-budget submission.

"The trucking industry pays for its use of the roads through fuel tax and very large registration charges," St Clair says.

"The industry has been overcharged since 2007, though, because the system used to calculate them underestimates the number of trucks on the road.

"As a result, trucking operators will be overcharged by $800 million in 2013-14 alone.

"The National Transport Commission, which determines the taxes and charges applied to the industry, has now recognised that we pay too much.

"It released a draft regulatory impact statement last year proposing important changes to the way the charges are calculated. Under its option A, operators would be able to claim an extra 1.04 cents per litre in fuel tax credits.

"The Australian Government should include this option in the Budget. It’s now confirmed that trucking operators are overcharged: the Government needs to act."

The ATA submission also argues the Government should provide the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) with an extra $4.3 million over four years to establish national databases of coronial recommendations about road safety and serious heavy vehicle accidents.

The idea was foreshadowed by ATA Chairman David Simon last year.

"Setting up these databases would be the first step toward the ATSB taking on the role of investigating serious truck crashes and making safety recommendations," St Clair says.

"The ATSB is known throughout the world for its air safety investigations. It’s also responsible for investigating marine and some rail accidents.

"The ATSB needs to be able to investigate serious truck crashes as well, so we can keep pushing the number of accidents down."

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