The Department of Motor Vehicle's (DMV) annual Motor Carrier Industry Meeting is scheduled for June 1st and will be held at the Department of General Services' office (Ziggeraut Building) located at 707 3rd Street, West Sacramento. The following agencies are expected to present DMV, California Highway Patrol, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Board of Equalization, California Air Resources Board and Caltrans. More information will be sent to CTA members in the coming days. Be sure to mark your calendar for this meeting.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles and CTA are teaming up to remind carriers who are subject to Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) fees to make sure they pay their UCR fees or could be subject to enforcement for non-payment of fees. In the coming weeks DMV will be sending out notices to carriers whose fees have lapsed and will be reminding them of what they owe.
The UCR program requires individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business with a UCR participating state and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet. The UCR fee structure and other related information is located on the UCR website www.ucr.in.gov.
Included in the mailing from DMV will be a printout indicating the power units and drivers reported by the applicable company to FMCSA and a UCR application. Carriers who receive the notice are advised to complete the UCR application and return it in the enclosed envelope along with the appropriate fees. You may also pay fees online at www.ucr.in.gov.
For more information contact Eric Sauer at email@example.com.
Recently, the Board of Equalization has contacted some CTA members to notify them that they are “Qualified Purchasers” subject to newer use tax reporting requirements.
So who is a Qualified Purchaser?
A "qualified purchaser" means a person that meets all of the following conditions:
1) The person receives at least $100,000 in gross receipts from business operations per calendar year. Note: Gross receipts is the total of all receipts from both in-state and out-of-state business operations.
2) The person is not required to hold a seller's permit or certificate of registration for use tax (under section 6226 of the Revenue and Taxation Code).
3) The person is not a holder of a use tax direct payment permit as described in section 7051.3 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
4) The person is not otherwise registered with the BOE to report use tax.
For motor carriers not otherwise engaged in retail operations, and who do not regularly order products from out-of-state, this may be the first time you have been asked to register Use Tax with the State.
In 2009 budget trailer bill, AB x4-18 (Stats. 2009, Ch.16) added section 6225 to the Revenue and Taxation Code, which requires a "qualified purchaser" to register with the Board of Equalization (BOE) and report and pay use tax directly to the BOE.
Generally, use tax applies when a person or business in California purchases tangible merchandise to be used, consumed, given away, or stored in this state from a retailer outside of this state who does not collect California tax on the sale. In simpler terms, if sales tax would apply when a particular item is purchased in California, use tax applies when a similar purchase is made from a retailer outside the state and no tax is charged.
Only the registration requirement is new under AB x4-18.
A reminder from CTA that first appeared in the December 14, 2011 CTA Policy Update
Many of our members have informed CTA that they have received a notice from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding payment for 2012 Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) fees. Many carriers that cross state lines in order to move their cargo are already enrolled in the UCR system. However many carriers that do not cross state lines but do carry “interstate” freight, have not participated in the UCR system.
Last year, the DMV provided these intrastate carriers an option for UCR payment in order to fall into compliance with the UCR regulations. The option given by DMV was for carriers that hold a current MCP, whose freight is deemed “interstate” but do not leave the state with the freight, to pay into the UCR system if they so choose.
By definition of the UCR program carriers that transport interstate cargo are subject to the UCR fees, regardless if you leave the state or not. In light of CTA members concerns and questions surrounding UCR fees, CTA requested that DMV produce a document that attempts to clarify the rules for carriers who are subject to the UCR fees.
DMV Consolidates Motor Carrier Division
Late last week the DMV announced that it will be consolidating the Motor Carrier and Registration Operations Division. According to DMV the consolidation “will improve the strengths of each area, while maintaining their focus on serving industry and individual customers. The transition will develop an organizational structure that maximizes the skill sets of our employees and realigns functions within the newly-consolidated division.
DMV anticipates that realignment efforts will continue through the remainder of the calendar year.
Current Motor Carrier Division Deputy Director Wes Goo has transitioned to Field Operations. The Registration Operations Division Deputy Director, Kathleen Rose will oversee the newly–consolidated division.
The remaining Motor Carrier Division management team and staff will remain in their current positions until the transition is complete. DMV does not anticipate any interruption in the services they provide to the industry.
This item will be discussed at the upcoming Highway Policy Committee meeting. Andrew Conway and Deb Hill (DMV) have confirmed their attendance.
For more information contact Eric Sauer at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington, DC lawmakers this week will be focusing on the new multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bills, aka "The Highway Bill", being voted on in both the House and the Senate. In advance of the votes this week, the CTA Board of Directors voted to approve the Federal Surface Transportation Reauthorization Policy Guideline that will help our association advocate for positions that are focused on trucking mobility and competitiveness. The guideline was developed by CTA's Infrastructure Task Force.
As a general policy statement, The California Trucking Association supports fair and equitable federal policies and funding decisions that are aimed at:
The California Trucking Association’s (CTA) Policy Staff recently submitted comments to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in response to their 2012 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). In our comments, staff addressed the need for increased attention to the importance of Goods Movement in the Southern California Region. According to SCAG’s RTP, goods movement dependent industries employ almost 3 million people in the region, and contribute over $250 billion to the region’s GDP on an annual basis.
Trucking forms the backbone of this regional economic power, and CTA’s comments also described the importance of limiting policies and revenue proposals that would hamper the competitiveness of the region’s motor carriers. SCAG has proposed a number of new revenue proposals that are of interest to the trucking community.
Staff also highlighted concerns with the proposed zero emission corridors being pursued by policy makers for the I-710 project and the East-West Freight Corridor.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, has stated that he expects the House to pass a new surface transportation authorization by March of 2012. According to the Associated Press, Mica told reporters that his bill would spend about $285 billion over the six years.
Chairman Mica has been working closely in recent months with the House Republican leadership to seek additional revenue for a multiyear surface transportation reauthorization bill that could avoid a 34% cut proposed in a House budget earlier this year. Previously, transportation interests groups protested loudly when the details of the proposed cuts became clear.
On the Senate side, the Environment and Public Works Committee chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California), has already started hearings on their version of the reauthorization bill known as MAP-21, although no formal legislative language has been released. The bill would continue to fund transportation at current authorized levels plus inflationary increases for the next two years.
Recently, Sen. Boxer sent a letter to Rep. Mica asking for clarification on his committee’s estimates for funding "current levels." According to Sen. Boxer's letter, "maintaining current levels of funding plus inflation over six years for the nation's surface transportation programs would require $339 billion” or 16% more than Mica's anticipated bill.
Congress has now passed eight short-term extension of the 2005 surface transportation law known as "SAFETEA-LU," since the original bill expired in 2009. The most recent extension passed by congress will lasts until March 31, 2012 at which point a new extension will be needed or a new reauthorization bill is put into place.
Neither the House nor the Senate has introduced a bill for a multiyear reauthorization measure, although the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to begin the mark up of their two-year, MAP-21 authorization proposal on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)’ Draft 2012 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy is expected to be released on December 1, 2011 for public comment.
Southern California members of the California Trucking Association are encouraged to review SCAG’s draft RTP and send comments of their own. Staff will be reviewing the document internally, and will provide draft comments for the Infrastructure Task Force to review and approve on behalf of the association.
The California Trucking Association encourages local, state, and federal policy makers to look closely at the importance of freight mobility when determining the priority of funding for infrastructure projects. CTA staff has met with representatives of SCAG to discuss how infrastructure improvements related to goods movement are vital for the region to remain economically competitive.
After the public comment period, the RTP/SCS will be considered for final adoption on April 5, 2012 at SCAG. . To view the SCAG PowerPoint presentation on the RTP/SCS, please click here.
The nation's two leading trucking industry trade groups - American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Association - came together at the conclusion of ATA's Management Conference & Exhibition last month to call on policy makers to allow for increased truck productivity.
The ATA Board of Directors voted to add 88,000-pound, five-axle combinations with enhanced braking capability, to its list of preferred productivity improvements. This new component joins 97,000-pound, six-axle combinations and harmonization of longer-combination vehicles on the menu of productivity improvements ATA will advocate for in Washington and state capitals across the country. ATA endorsed increasing truck weight limits to 97,000 pounds in 2006.
Also this week, TCA voted to approve a two-tiered productivity policy of supporting combinations of 88,000 pounds on five axles as well as 97,000 pounds on six axles.
On a related note, The Senate passed a “minibus” spending measure this week that contained a rider provision in the language that would bring higher truck weights back to Maine and Vermont’s interstate highways on a permanent basis after a pilot program was completed. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) sponsored the amendment that would allow trucks up to 100,000 pounds on Maine and Vermont’s interstates.
The approved “minibus” spending bill would fund transportation and housing programs with $109.5 billion, just below the $109.6 appropriated for 2011. The bill also includes separate funding for agriculture, justice and science programs. A House transportation subcommittee has approved a spending bill that does not include the heavy-truck provision and the two versions may need to be worked out in a conference committee once a House version passes.