Trucking gains fuel tax rate reduction


Chester burnishes credentials with road freight transport

Trucking gains fuel tax rate reduction
Darren Chester with Christopher Melham (right).

 

The Coalition has loosened another pre-election shot across the Opposition’s trucking bows with a road user charge reduction ahead of the federal Budget.

Following its abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester has pared the truck fuel tax rate from 26.14 to 25.9 cents per litre from July 1.

In welcoming a move it had called for, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) calculates it will save a typical owner-driver about $200 in 2016-17, and a typical small fleet operator about $1,100.

ATA chief executive Christopher Melham thanked Chester for working to address the ongoing overcharging faced by the trucking industry – an issue the organisation has long and often complained about.

"The trucking industry pays for our use of the road system through heavy vehicle registration fees and a road user charge on fuel," Melham says.

"However, the industry has been overcharged since 2007, because the system used to calculate the charges underestimates the number of trucks on our roads.

"The Australian, state and territory governments last year agreed to a two-year freeze in their revenue from heavy vehicle charges in response to the problem.

"Reducing the road user charge from the current 26.14 cents per litre to 25.9 cents per litre will ensure that the government’s predicted revenue from the road user charge remains constant.

"The decision builds on, and goes further than, the government’s previous decisions to freeze the road user charge rate in 2014 and 2015."

The road user charge is imposed as a reduction in the fuel tax credits that trucking businesses can claim through the BAS process, the ATA notes.

As a result of the decision, the fuel tax credit rate for eligible heavy vehicles will increase from 13.36 cents per litre to 13.6 cents per litre from July 1.

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