In June of 2021, Connecticut state lawmakers passed a bill that will impose a tax of up to 17.5 cents per mile on trucks that use their roads. The legislation is set to go into effect on or after January 1, 2023. Four other states currently levy vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) fees on trucks. This is all in addition to the more than 340 toll facilities operating in the United States.
The increasing cost of highway fees may have left you and many carriers wondering how to alleviate the financial impact. While addressing taxes is complicated and often outside of a carrier’s control, being attentive to toll expenditures can often provide unexpected reductions in operational costs. Below are three ways you can better manage the cost of tolls.
Review Statements Monthly
Carefully review your statements each month to ensure proper charges have been assessed. Look for duplicate charges and identify any fines or penalties that are inaccurate. Be diligent in reviewing your statements as they arrive. Deferring them could increase fees associated with inaccurate charges and make them more time-consuming to address. If managing a fleet, you also need to be on the lookout for improper use of transponders and address swiftly.
Ensuring you are educated in the process of disputing inaccuracies will help you identify that worth pursuing. Contesting charges can provide savings but can also be time-consuming. When a suspected inaccuracy appears on your statement, be prompt in addressing it to avoid accruing late fees. Research the rules associated with the state and tolling authority in which the violation occurred and contact the appropriate agency. Ignoring violations could result in hefty additional fees as well as revocation of registration.
Misclassified trucks often pay the wrong rate for toll transactions. You should carefully manage your truck classification as those resulting in a higher rate add up over time. You should also watch for misclassifications that result in a lower rate, as those can create substantial penalties when identified by an authority. Be sure codes are entered correctly and be vigilant when moving a transponder from one truck to another. You can certainly make a big difference by being viligilant.
Getting in the habit of controlling your toll costs can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Create a management process that works for you and stick to it. You (and your wallet!) will be glad you did!
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