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Penn. truckers feel loaded with taxes

Ashley Milne-Tyte Apr 1, 2008


Doug Krizner: Yesterday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, scores of truck drivers circled the state capitol in a demonstration. They want the state to get rid of its tax on diesel fuel. Truckers across the country are struggling with the high cost of diesel. And as Ashley Milne-Tyte reports, there could be more protests in the pipeline.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: With diesel almost doubling in the past year, truck drivers are feeling squeezed.

Terry Button is an independent farmer and trucker from upstate New York.

Terry Button: We can’t operate below cost of production. We can’t lose money. You can’t eat away your equity and net worth to stay in business.

Button says he always passes on those rising fuel costs to his buyer. But other drivers work deals with brokers to ship freight at a set price. They don’t have the leverage that Button does.

Norita Taylor is a spokesperson for the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association. She says that when the price of fuel spikes, these drivers are often left to pick up the additional costs themselves.

Norita Taylor: What our association would like to see happen is for Congress to enact legislation mandating 100 percent pass-through of fuel surcharges to the person who pays for the fuel.

Otherwise, she says too many drivers are in danger of losing their livelihoods.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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