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Iowa trucking industry pays $561 million in state and federal taxes

DES MOINES - According to data recently released by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and Iowa Motor Carriers Foundation (IMCF), the Iowa trucking industry pays more than $561 million in federal and state roadway taxes.

“There should be no doubt that our industry pays its fair share in road taxes. In fact, we pay more than our fair share. On average, trucks drive 3.8 billion miles on public roads in Iowa and pay 43 percent ($561 million) of all taxes owed by Iowa motorists even though trucks represent only 11 percent of vehicle miles traveled in the state overall,” said Brenda Neville, president of Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA).

A typical five-axle tractor-trailer pays $7,085 in state highway user fees and taxes plus $8,905 in federal highway user fees and taxes. These state and federal taxes are over and above the typical taxes paid by businesses in Iowa.

“This data once again shows that the trucking industry is accepting its responsibility to ensure there are good roads and bridges in this state. Good roads and bridges are essential to our industry and to every Iowan for that matter,” Neville said.

IMTA has always been a strong supporter of increased fuel taxes in the state and view this user fee as the most equitable funding method for infrastructure.

“As the biggest consumer of roads and bridges in the state, we will continue to urge state leaders and legislators to have an ongoing discussion on road funding. Investing in our infrastructure must continue to be a top priority and will be critically important in keeping our state and nation competitive,” said Jack Sawyer, president of Des Moines Transportation and current chairman of the board of IMTA.

Iowa lawmakers passed a gas/fuel tax increase in 2015 and IMTA tried to get an indexing provision added to the legislation at the time. Prior to the 2015 legislation, Iowa had not increased gas/fuel taxes since 1986.

“We take the responsibility of delivering the products that Iowans depend upon very seriously and along with that, we are equally committed to advocating for continued investment in our roads and bridges. We pay a lot in taxes, but we are willing to do so as long as we have good roads and bridges,” Sawyer said.

IMTA was established in 1942, and has been the voice of the Iowa trucking industry for more than 75 years. The association represents almost 700 trucking companies and suppliers of all sizes employing thousands of people throughout the state of Iowa. For more information, visit

Established in 1986, IMCF provides valuable support to Iowa’s trucking industry through its efforts in research, image programs, education, outreach and scholarships. The foundation is committed to moving the industry forward with innovative, thoughtful and comprehensive efforts that highlight the value of trucking in Iowa and across the nation.

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