WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help address the current truck driver shortage in the United States by establishing a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers.
In 2021, American trucking companies experienced a record deficit of nearly 80,000 drivers due to hiring and retention challenges. This shortage has impacted all American consumers through delayed and more expensive shipping costs. Many trucking companies have struggled to hire drivers without offering bonuses or increased wages to qualified drivers. And to further compound the issue down the road, the median age of U.S. truck drivers is between 51 and 52-years old.
The bipartisan Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would provide a short-term, fast, and straightforward incentive to attract and retain new drivers. Specifically, the Gallagher-Spanberger bill would create 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.
“The truck driving industry is facing a massive workforce shortage that’s disrupting supply chains and leaving store shelves empty,” said Rep. Gallagher. “We need truck drivers to keep our economy moving, and this bill takes steps to help encourage more individuals to make a career out of this important work.”
“Over the last two years, we have seen just how important truck drivers are for keeping our economy growing and our communities moving. But to fully combat the shortages and rising costs faced by families and businesses right now, we need to attract even more additional skilled drivers to the American trucking industry,” said Rep. Spanberger. “Our legislation takes a commonsense step towards addressing our chronic driver shortage. By creating a refundable tax credit for the men and women who keep our goods flowing, we would encourage more young people to hop in the driver’s seat, reduce headaches for trucking businesses, and make sure experienced drivers are rewarded for their hard work. I want to thank Congressman Gallagher for his partnership on this issue and for focusing on the economic concerns of his constituents.”
The Gallagher-Spanberger legislation is endorsed by the American Trucking Associations and the American Loggers Council.
“Building the next generation of trucking talent, and shrinking the nationwide shortage of qualified truck drivers, is one of the highest priorities for our economy over the next decade,” said Chris Spear, President & CEO, American Trucking Associations (ATA). “This is an issue that directly affects all Americans, not just trucking companies. As driver pay continues to rise at a historic pace, the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would attract even more drivers into the field by providing substantial tax credits to reduce their federal tax liabilities. This bipartisan bill would make a meaningful difference in the lives of new truckers, further elevating the profession as one of the few available in today’s job market that provides a stable career path to the middle class without the costly burden of a four-year college degree. A challenge as complex as the truck driver shortage cannot be resolved through a single solution. Solving it requires a multifaceted approach that combines industry initiative with good public policy such as this legislation. We thank Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Mike Gallagher for their leadership on this critical issue and for being strong advocates for America’s truck drivers.”
The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would:
- Create 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 (2022 and 2023).
- Create 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.
- 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 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.