KSL Investigates Trucking Craze Driving Revenue To Idaho

LAYTON, Utah — Layton resident Alan Curtis found it for many years driving again and forth from his farm in Cache County: huge trucks with Utah plates on the entrance, but Idaho license plates on the trailer.

“I see it practically each journey,” Curtis informed KSL Investigators. He arrived at out wanting to know why so several were certified in Idaho. “I required to have it investigated and see what the heck is going on, for the reason that we will need those people tax dollars for our personal Utah streets.”


It is a dilemma KSL Investigators have been given several instances around the past 12 months, with far more people today noticing the anomaly. Most expressed equivalent issues as Curtis: is Utah dropping out on tax profits for the roads these trucks are applying?

Conserving Time and Income

We took the query to Rick Clasby, government director of the Utah Trucking Association. “Obviously, the trucking marketplace will search to help you save cash where they can,” he mentioned, “and extra importantly than that, possibly even, is efficiency.”

Clasby explained registering trailers in Idaho appeals to quite a few businesses on the lookout to preserve time and money since the condition provides the North American Long term Trailer Plate (NAPP). A one particular-time registration cost of about $106.75 lasts the life span of the trailer.

The NAPP does not need a organization to be primarily based in Idaho to choose benefit of this registration.

In Utah, common trailer registration expenses considerably less, $95.12, but firms ought to renew the plate every single 12 months. Utah does offer you a long-lasting plate, in which registration expenses are paid out when. However, house taxes are nevertheless necessary to be paid out on the trailer yearly.

Clasby acknowledged licensing a big fleet could grow to be pricey in Utah, sending far more corporations north of the Utah border.

“The point out could be plating some of those people tractors and trailers, and so they’re shedding earnings by not carrying out so. To what extent, I really don’t know,” he said.

Clasby stated truck trailer registrations fluctuate greatly, since of how they are utilised.

“Trailers don’t generally reside the place the tractor does,” he stated. “We’re an interstate business… so at times the plating and licensing happens in a unique state than the place the principal supply of organization is, and that’s because they have terminals or small business in that condition.”

To get an concept of how often that happens, the KSL Investigators sat at a truck stop in Brigham Town. Above 45 minutes, we observed 66 vans, mainly wanting at trailer plates. Of these, 14 (21%) experienced Idaho license plates on the trailer. Only 4 vehicles had Utah plates on the back again finish. The wide bulk (73%) had been from states other than Utah or Idaho.

Profits Drives to Idaho

Considering the fact that 2015, interstate trailer registrations have fallen 46.7% in Utah. There were being 14,642 registrations in 2020.

A community records request of the Idaho Transportation Office showed 3,860 trailers owned by Utah firms ended up registered in Idaho previous 12 months, bring that condition a whole $382,635 in registration charges.

Utah saw $1,392,823.17 in income from interstate trailer registration and valuation charges previous calendar year. If these trailers experienced been registered in Utah, the Beehive state would have been given about $367,163 additional in 2020 trailer registrations.

Monte Roberts, director of the Utah Division of Motor Automobiles (DMV) is not overly involved about this potential reduction in earnings. “I think it is a misnomer that people think they are not paying their honest share of taxes for the use and tear on the roadways.”


He described trailers make up a modest part of all commercial registration costs. It’s essentially the truck, or electricity unit, that contributes the most monetarily. Considering the fact that 2015, Utah has observed a 27% enhance in interstate energy device registration. Final 12 months these energy models introduced in $13,090,441.90 in registration and valuation charges, around nine moments that of the trailer units.

Roberts suggests no matter of wherever the truck is registered, Utah will get its truthful share of these fees primarily based on how quite a few miles the truck drives on Utah roads. It is component of the Intercontinental Registration Prepare, or IRP.

“If my recognized position of enterprise is Utah, and I drive miles in Idaho and Colorado and Wyoming, I have to report that,” claimed Roberts. “It’s through… a tax dependent on the miles I push in each individual one particular of all those states.”

In fiscal yr 2020, the Utah Department of Transportation claimed 8,582,946 vehicles passed via Utah’s 8 ports of entry. This contains all commercial trucks over 10,000 lbs ., which includes construction gear and box vans.

Transform in Standing Quo? Not Probable

Roberts claimed dropping trailer registrations doesn’t indicate a large decline for state income. It may possibly have a larger affect on individual counties.

Two thirds of the whole yearly fees are valuation expenses, which are county house taxes assessed where the business enterprise is located. If all Utah-primarily based providers made a decision to sign up their trailers out-of-condition, “The assets tax that goes to individuals counties would fundamentally be long gone,” reported Roberts.

Performing the math dependent on common valuation charges, Utah counties collectively lost $239,519 from individuals 3,860 trailers that have been registered in Idaho past year.

Roberts does not see the latest coverage transforming, as prior legislative efforts have not been prosperous. And he fears mandating Utah trailer registrations for Utah-centered organizations could have a bigger adverse result, as providers may possibly determine to relocate their business enterprise to a further point out.

“I say be watchful about pushing this far too far, mainly because it’ll probably do almost nothing but reduce the range of trailers registered in Utah and eliminate out on the assets tax that they are presently spending,” he said.

Have you professional anything you believe just isn’t proper? The KSL Investigators want to enable. Post your suggestion at [email protected] or 385-707-6153 so we can get performing for you.