Journal of Transportation Management


The presence of certain state taxes is believed to have a negative impact on truck registration and the location decisions of trucking firms. For example, in a metropolitan area that covers two or more states, a trucking firm might not choose to locate in the county that is in close proximity to the metropolitan area’s business districts, population centers, and largest concentration of customers, if that county is in a state that imposes the taxes. Instead, it might choose to locate in a county that belongs to another state that does not impose such taxes as long as that county is adjacent to the metropolitan area’s most industrialized districts. This paper examines the impact that state taxes have on the very competitive trucking industry. Through a case study of Kentucky, we illustrate how state taxes such as the motor vehicle usage tax and the weight distance tax can adversely affect the trucking firm’s decisions in registering and plating trucks, and in locating its facilities.