New York Highway Use Tax fees update

This information submitted by the New York State Motor Truck Association.

As you are likely aware, a recent Supreme Court ruling declared the fees charged for a HUT decal and certificate of registration as unconstitutional. The case was brought by the Owner Operators Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) on behalf of out-of-state trucking companies. New York has interpreted the ruling as prohibiting the Tax Department from charging the fees to out-of-state carriers, but believe they are still legislatively bound to continue to charge in-state carriers the fees.

As a result, the One Stop Credentialing and Registration (OSCAR) system is currently available only to carriers registering a New York plated vehicle. Those carriers will continue to be charged the $15 and $4 per truck fees. All other carriers must now file by mail, but there will be no fees collected. This is the short-term solution.

Late on Friday, NYSMTA learned what the potential long-term solution may be. As part of the Governor’s 30-day amendments to the 2016-17 NYS Budget, a proposal has been made to eliminate the $15 and $4 fees and replace them with a $1.50 per truck administrative fee. By making this change, New York would be in compliance with the decision of the recent Supreme Court ruling, and still be able to collect the fees from both in-state and out-of-state carriers, as this would simply be a fee to offset the cost of administering the HUT credentials, rather than to generate revenue.

If the proposal passes, it would become effective on April 1, 2016.

MTAC visits Anastasio & Sons Trucking

Last week, MTAC President Joe Sculley visited the business of MTAC Board member Andy Anastasio, Anastasio & Sons Trucking Company.

Anastasio trucking says that just about everyone traveling the highways and byways this side of the Mississippi has seen their flatbed fleet in action. Their business started in 1977, and they are proud of what it has become. What started with an old Mack B model has grown into one of the largest and most technologically advanced flatbed trucking services in the Northeast.

They have made a name for themselves in the industry for their ability to accommodate all types of trucking and handling needs from material-specific tarping, to adding a fleet of pole trucks when called upon.

Additionally, Anastasio counts themselves as among the blessed to have one of the best and most efficient dispatchers in the business. They welcome all inquiries for trucking regardless of size and scope. The trucking company is a part of the larger Anastasio Group. for more information, visit the Anastasio & Sons Trucking Company online website.

Hours of Service restart provision threatened

There is a developing issue with the federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulation, and MTAC wanted to provide a summary of what is happening. The bottom line is that there was a “legislative glitch” with some of the language regarding the HOS regulation that was included in the omnibus government funding bill passed last year.

To recap recent HOS developments, on July 1, 2013, FMCSA changed the regulation to state that the 34 hour restart could only be used once per 7 days (168) hours, and had to include consecutive1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods. Congress ultimately acted to suspend that by including a provision in the fiscal year 2015 government funding bill which required FMCSA to complete a study before FMCSA could enforce the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and 168 hour provisions.

Roughly a year later, Congress included another provision in the fiscal year 2016 government funding bill to require “statistically significant” data in the study regarding safety improvements before FMCSA could enforce the new restart provisions. However, there was a problem with the way the legislative language was written. Rather than stating that the restart provisions in effect before July 1, 2013 would remain in the event that FMCSA could not produce “statistically significant” data, what the language actually said, according to DOT, was that the entire restart provision itself would not be in effect. There would simply be a weekly cap on hours that could be driven, with no restarts allowed.

While Congress and the industry knew what the intent of this law change was, the Department of Transportation has seized on the actual wording of the law. They are threatening to begin enforcing the regulation with no restart provision. This has not yet happened, but FMCSA/DOT are reportedly preparing to do it.

ATA, state trucking associations, and political leaders in Congress are working to come to a resolution. The industry believes that the 34 hour restart should be preserved, and that it was clearly the intent of the provision contained in the government funding bill to do so.

MTAC visits John DeGrand & Son

Last week, MTAC President Joe Sculley visited the headquarters of John DeGrand & Son, Inc. DeGrand specializes in daily, overnight, and next day service throughout the Tri-State area and New England region. All services provided to these areas are handled exclusively by John DeGrand & Son’s employees.

John DeGrand & Son, Inc. also provides services throughout the continental United States. To accomplish these services in the safest, most time efficient, cost effective, and quality assured manner, John DeGrand & Son’s employees manage and track all services from start to finish.

For larger projects throughout the United States, John DeGrand & Son and their employees are always available to be on hand at site to manage, oversee, run, operate, and transport any project from start to finish. Their services include delivery and moving, warehousing, battery recycling, packaging/crating, and logistics.

It was great to meet with MTAC Board member Tom DeGrand, as well as another DeGrand leader who is active within MTAC, Mike DeGrand. Be sure to visit their website.

New FMCSA Certified Medical Examination Forms

MTAC has received the new Certified Medical Examination forms, and they are available for sale. As part of the 2015 Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration Final Rule, medical examiners will soon be required to use the revised Medical Long Form (MCSA-5875) and Medical Examination Certification (med card) (MCSA-5876). If you have “old” forms, they will be valid only until April 20, 2016.

The new forms were originally going to be required beginning at the end of 2015, but that deadline was delayed by FMCSA. According to FMCSA, that action was taken to ensure that Medical Examiners had sufficient time to become familiar with the new forms and to program electronic medical records systems.

Now that MTAC has the new forms in stock which are valid for use at this time, they are the only forms that will be sold from now on. If you need to order the new forms, visit the MTAC office, or call the office at (860) 520-4455.

UCRA enforcement postponed

The fees for 2016 payable by interstate motor carriers and other entities under the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCRA) were due by the end of calendar 2015, and enforcement was due to begin, at least in many states, at the first of this year. The UCR program, however, does not require those paying the fees to display any credential in or on motor vehicles; enforcement depends largely on the electronic records of carriers’ payments shown in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER system.

SAFER, however, has recently had problems receiving state updates saying which carriers have paid UCR fees, so state enforcement personnel at roadside may find no record of payment for a carrier that has actually complied with its obligations. Some carriers have received tickets for operating without having paid their UCR fees when in fact they have.

Earlier this week, the UCRA Board recommended to the states they postpone UCR enforcement until February 1, 2016, to allow time for FMCSA to resolve its system problems, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has also requested its member states’ enforcement agencies to do likewise. We assume most or all states will honor these requests.

(By Bob Pitcher, State Laws Newsletter)

MTAC meets with Bob Hamilton from Bozzuto’s

bozzutos-250xMTAC President Joe Sculley recently visited MTAC Board member and MTAC/ATA Vice President Bob Hamilton at the Bozzuto’s, Inc. headquarters. This was a great visit to the facilities of the largest trucking company that is based in Connecticut.

Bozzuto’s Inc. is a family-owned, leading total service wholesale distributor, established in 1945, and is based in Cheshire, Connecticut. For more than 66 years, Bozzuto’s has provided goods and services to independently owned retailers in the New England area. As a company, they understand their customers’ success depends on their effectiveness and efficiencies as procurement and distribution specialists. Their state-of-the-art distribution centers use the latest technology designed to maximize customer service and offer the most in product variety. The objective is simple: to be the number one wholesaler of choice in the markets they serve.

2016 Call on Washington set for Sept. 27-29

MTAC has scheduled its 2016 “Call on Washington” for September 27-29. Members interested in traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. Senators and Representatives from Connecticut should mark their calendars for this event now.

This is a great event which allows MTAC members to get valuable face time with the members of Congress and/or their senior staff, so that the members of Congress can hear directly from business owners about some of their concerns.

MTAC adds industry news feed to website

MTAC is pleased to announce a new feature that has been added to its website. The “Industry News” is an automatically-updating news feed from some of the top publications focusing on the commercial transportation industry. This tab displays the titles and opening sentences to articles coming from well-respected publications such as Transport Topics News, Fleet Owner, Work Truck Magazine, and Overdrive magazine. This is a great tool that will allow members to visit MTAC’s website to get current industry news from multiple sources in one convenient location. Simply click the article’s title or the “read more” link to be taken directly to the publication’s website to see the entire article. Visitors to the Industry News page can also click the publication’s logo to be taken directly to their main web page.

The news feeds are set to automatically update so that the most recent articles from each publication are displayed. MTAC members are encouraged to visit this page often to stay up to speed on trucking industry news.

Use of current Certified Medical Examination form extended

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that certified medical examiners may continue to use current driver examination forms until April 20, 2016.

As part of the 2015 Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration Final Rule, medical examiners were required to use the revised Medical Long Form (MCSA-5875) and Medical Examination Certification (med card) (MCSA-5876) beginning Dec. 22, 2015. However, in a recent notice published in the Federal Register, FMCSA announced that CMEs may continue to use the current forms until the grace period ends on April 20, 2016.

According to FMCSA, this action is being taken to ensure that Medical Examiners have sufficient time to become familiar with the new forms and to program electronic medical records systems.

MTAC will continue to sell the current forms, and will also let members know when the new forms are in stock and available for sale.