|UCR 2010 Fee Proposal|
During the February board meeting, UCR directors voted to increase the 2010 fee structure to account for lower-than-expected revenue and change the law that created the system.
The states say they need the new fee structure because they are having trouble collecting fees from the expanded number of companies covered by the registration requirements. State agencies rely on UCR revenue to fund their enforcement activities.
Another reason for the fee change is to comply with a 2008 federal law that exempted trailers from the registration count. To adjust for that, the fee for a fleet, freight forwarder or broker operating two or fewer trucks or trailers was $39, while an entity of more than 1,000 truckers and trailers paid $37,500. Under the proposed fee hike, an entity with one or fewer truck would pay $83 in 2010 and an entity of more than 1,000 power units would pay $82,983.
Industry representatives from American Trucking Association (ATA) feel the new structure unfairly punishes carriers who have been complying with the registration requirements. ATA suggests that enforcement by most states has been lacking. ATA is aware states are not collecting as much in fees as they had anticipated but they should be forced to do more to collect existing fees, rather than raising fees on truck fleets. ATA President Graves sent a letter to UCR chairman on Feb 20, stating the proposed fee increase is “unwarranted and places an extremely heavy burden on the interstate motor carrier industry.”
Another industry group opposes the proposed fee increases because it penalizes carriers who voluntarily pay when states could be doing more enforcement to collect the existing fees.
Fleets often “back out” equipment not being used for interstate business and are no longer required to register trailers and the new structure bumps fleets into lower brackets, thus holding down their fees.
ATA and other groups are expected to oppose the new fee structure and are considering returning to Congress over the issue.
The flare-up in the battle over registration fees continued during the March telephonic meeting and comes after the board charged with recommending the level of the levies agreed to suggest that fees be more than doubled to make up for significant shortfalls.
Most states say they are being as pro-active as state legislation allows with some holding up IRP and IFTA renewals based upon UCR renewals. Other states are enforcing heavily, updating MC-MIS, sending past due notices, plus lots of phone attention if a carrier's mail is returned.
The fees are officially set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with final approval by Office of Management and Budget. In the near future, the UCR board will recommend the approved fee structures for 2010 to FMCSA for their review. FMCSA is planning a quick notice of proposed rulemaking and then a final rule “so that states can do what they have to do to get those fees collected in 2010.”
Stay tuned ….
Brackets/power units/fees proposed for 2010:
Bracket 1: Power Units 0 to 1: $83
Bracket 2: Power Units 2 thru 5: $166
Bracket 3: Power Units 6 to 20: $497
Bracket 4: Power Units 21 to 100: $1,741
Bracket 5: Power Units 101 to 1,000: $8,373
Bracket 6: Power Units 1,000 to MORE: $82,983
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