93 House Members urge leadership to exempt CERTS grant funds from federal taxation

Four U.S. Representatives have rallied 89 of their colleagues to join them in calling for House leadership to exempt Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act grant funds from federal taxation in the next possible legislative vehicle. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), and John Rose (R-TN) led the effort over the past two weeks, and motorcoach operators across the country did their part, emailing and calling their U.S. Representatives asking them to sign the letter.

Reps Panetta LaHood Sires and Rose
Four House Members (clockwise from top left), Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Darin LaHood, John Rose, and Albio Sires, rallied 89 colleagues to support a tax-exemption for CERTS grant funds.

“Our motorcoach and passenger vessels are a cornerstone of our tourism and hospitality industries on the central coast of California, but they are struggling to recover from the financial hits that they took during the pandemic,” said Rep. Panetta. “Although Congress was able to help that industry with the CERTS Act grants, more needs to be done to ensure its full recovery.  A tax exemption for those specific relief grants would strengthen the foundation not just for the survival of the motorcoach, school bus, and passenger vessel industry, but also for its continued success as an important part of our community and economy.”

United Motorcoach Association Chairman Jeff Polzien praised the House Members for their leadership on behalf of the bus and motorcoach industry, an integral part of the country’s transportation network.

 “UMA thanks Representatives Panetta, LaHood, Sires and Rose for their outstanding leadership on this issue, the other 89 Members of the House of Representatives who joined them in this effort, and the many hundreds of members of UMA who engaged directly with their elected representatives.  We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to see the tax exemption become law,” Polzien said.

Fairness issue

Supporting the industry that is just beginning to rebound from the devastating impact of the pandemic shutdowns is the right thing to do, said Scott Michael, UMA President and CEO.

“This is a matter of fairness,” Michael said of the tax exemption. “Similar industry relief program grants to restaurants and shuttered venues are already exempted from federal taxation. It’s not surprising there is so much bipartisan support for this measure to be codified in the next possible legislative action. Our industry is grateful for the leadership of Representatives Panetta, LaHood, Sires, and Rose.

“We know many motorcoach operators do not expect to return to ‘normal’ business until sometime in 2023,” Michael said.  “Exempting these struggling businesses from paying back a large portion of these emergency grants in taxes will hasten their recovery.”

The CERTS Act, with $2 billion in funding, was signed into law in December of 2020 and funds were dispersed to grant applicants beginning in August of 2021. The industries assisted by the grants include passenger vessels and school buses in addition to motorcoach companies.

The following House Members are on the record in support of exempting the CERTS funds from federal taxation (*indicates original signer):

Rep.  Jimmy Panetta*

Rep.  Darin LaHood*

Rep.  Albio Sires*

Rep.  John Rose*

Rep. Jodey Arrington

Rep. Cindy Axne

Rep. Jack Bergman

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Rep. Mike Bost

Rep. Anthony G. Brown

Rep. John R. Carter

Rep. Matt Cartwright

Rep. Ed Case

Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. Joe Courtney

Rep. Angie Craig

Rep. Henry Cuellar

Rep. Rodney Davis

Rep. Madeleine Dean

Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro

Rep. Antonio Delgado

Rep. Debbie Dingell

Rep. Tom Emmer

Rep. Randy Feenstra

Rep. Michelle Fischbach

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick

Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García

Rep. Jimmy Gomez

Rep. Josh Gottheimer

Rep. Jim Hagedorn

Rep. Dr. Andy Harris

Rep. Jahana Hayes

Rep. Brian Higgins

Rep. Ashley Hinson

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

Rep. Bill Huizenga

Rep. John Katko

Rep. Mike Kelly

Rep. Daniel T. Kildee

Rep. Andy Kim

Rep. Doug LaMalfa

Rep. Conor Lamb

Rep. James R. Langevin

Rep. John B. Larson

Rep. Brenda L. Lawrence

Rep. Barbara Lee

Rep. Zoe Lofgren

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer

Rep. Tom Malinowski

Rep. Kathy Manning

Rep. Betty McCollum

Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E.

Rep. Peter Meijer

Rep. Carol D. Miller

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D.

Rep. John R. Moolenaar

Rep. Dan Newhouse

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Chris Pappas

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.

Rep. Dean Phillips

Rep. Stacey E. Plaskett

Rep. Mark Pocan

Rep. Bill Posey

Rep. David Price

Rep. Mike Quigley

Rep. Tom Reed

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

Rep. Hal Rogers

Rep. Deborah K. Ross

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Rep. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas

Rep. Terri Sewell

Rep. Mikie Sherrill

Rep. Christopher H. Smith

Rep. Pete Stauber

Rep. Haley Stevens

Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi

Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson

Rep. Paul D. Tonko

Rep. Jefferson Van Drew

Rep. Tim Walberg

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

Rep. Peter Welch

Rep. Jennifer Wexton

Rep. Susan Wild

Rep. Joe Wilson

Rep. Don Young

Rep. Lee Zeldin

About UMA

The United Motorcoach Association is the nation’s largest organization exclusively protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of privately-owned bus and motorcoach companies. Members include motorcoach owners and industry suppliers. For more information about UMA, upcoming events, membership, and important legislative information, please visit  www.uma.org.

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