You may have noticed while out driving that the highways are under constant repair. Or you may have noticed that the ones not being repaired are in need of repair. Either way, someone has to pay for all that road work.
Who pays? You, me, and all the others out there who pay taxes for a living – I mean, who pay taxes out of the money we earn for a living.
Recently there have been stories in the news about the possible shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), the fund that reimburses states for the federal portion of road work project costs. For those unfamiliar with how that funding process works, which is probably almost all of us since it wasn’t’ covered in Schoolhouse Rocks “I’m Only a Bill,” this site has a good brief explanation. To overcome the projected shortfall, various politicians have suggested a short-term infusion of cash.
Where will that cash come from? Well, starting on July 1, 2015, it may come from the taxes you pay when you file form 2290.
Currently, the government calculates the tax you owe on your vehicle starting at 55,000 pounds and capping the cost at 75,000 pounds. For a 55,000 pound vehicle, you pay $100 in tax. For each additional 1,000 pounds, you pay $22 more in tax up to 75,000. For any vehicle over 75,000 pounds, you pay $550 in tax.
In order to pay back the amount to be contributed to the HTF, a proposal exists to raise the weight limit to 97,000 pounds. While that exceeds the current weight limit under federal standards for interstate usage, states offer exceptions that permit heavier vehicles to use the roads. The higher weight cap for the excise tax would bring those heavier vehicles under a higher taxable rate.
The rate would work like it does now, starting at $100 at 55,000 pounds and increasing by $22 per 1,000 pounds. With the higher weight cap, however, the highest amount an owner may pay would go from $550 to $1,100.
Depending on your vehicle, the higher tax may not matter. If your vehicle weighs 75,000 pounds, you’d still pay $550 next year. If you are at 80,000 pounds, though, your tax bill would go from $550 to $660.
As of this writing, the new rule isn’t official. Should it happen, we’ll update this post and recalculate our tax software to ensure ez2290.com is e-Filing for the correct amounts.
But be on the lookout for the possible higher tax amount. And don’t be surprised if it happens for July 1, 2015.