Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- What we do. Why we do it.

shannonnewton2Shannon Newton
President, ATA

I’ve worked for the Arkansas Trucking Association for over a decade now. You would think I’d have a handy elevator pitch that succinctly conveys the essence of what it is we do.

Yet, I don’t. Not one I’m completely satisfied with anyway.

Sure, I can recite the mission statement. Rooted in our core value of service to our membership, it adequately states our primary objective to protect, promote and inform on our member’s behalf.

But the mission statement alone doesn’t explain how or why. It doesn’t capture the power—power that delivers meaningful and far-reaching impact through our association and the industry in Arkansas.

Whether issues of public interest, advancing our image, or addressing an arcane, stealth regulatory change—the power of association can make the difference.

As many are aware, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), without legislation, regulation or public comment, recently made an internal administrative determination that it would no longer treat the sale of a commercial truck with an extended warranty as one transaction, but two. This caused the purchase price of extended warranties to be subject to full sales tax.

We became aware of this change when a truck driver who arrived at the revenue department, anticipating a $10.50 title fee instead owed over $700 in sales tax. This owner operator had no choice but to pay the tax so his livelihood could continue. Nor did this owner operator have the time and energy to protest this wrongful charge.

His was not an isolated incident.

That sales tax was charged on over 150 warranties in June and July, all meant to be excluded as part of the sales-tax exemption on commercial truck and trailers our association passed in 2011.

The cost of extended warranties varies greatly, but using a typical range, the taxes levied on these purchase prices across the state were between $350 - $1,000 per truck.

When I became aware of the situation, the association’s legal counsel was quickly engaged to affirm our position that the exemption of extended warranties should continue to apply. Over the next 60 days, the association, staff, lawyers, board members and other liaisons pursued all avenues to undo this abrupt and unjust change.

I was thrilled when we received word that the DFA reversed their decision and rescinded this extra tax due to our efforts. As a result, refunds totaling more than $100,000 are being mailed this month to trucking companies and owner-operators who were overcharged when registering their new trucks. In addition to these refunds, many more thousands were saved by preventing the continuance or worse, back taxes, under this improper tax treatment.

I wanted to shout, “This is what we do; this is how the power of association can—and does—deliver!”

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this shared victory—your victory— with all of the trucking companies who choose to do business in Arkansas and register their equipment here.

It’s what we do. And you are why we do it.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
You are here: Home Article Archive Up Front- What we do. Why we do it.