Motorcoach associations like the American Bus Association (ABA) are celebrating the reintroduction of a bill that would eliminate the tax burden for those who received CERTS Act money during the pandemic. Bill H.R. 3510 was recently referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means after being sponsored by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.). The bill has since garnered the support of Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Jared Golden (R-Maine), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), and John Rose (R-Tenn.).
The CERTS Act, or the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services, was $2 billion pandemic funding earmarked for motorcoaches and passenger vessel operators, who were disproportionately affected during the international crisis and has since seen a slower path to recovery than other industries. Associations like the ABA and the United Motorcoach Association have been lobbying Congress since the passage of the hard-fought CERTS Act for tax exemption for those funds.
“The CERTS grant relief program provided a necessary lifeline to the U.S. motorcoach industry, in response to the economic devastation brought about by the pandemic. Without this funding, at such a critical time, numerous small, multigenerational family businesses faced extinction and thousands of rural and underserved communities would have lost access to their only form of intercity transportation,” said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso. “However, just when the industry began to stabilize and recover, operators were penalized with an unexpected tax bill for accepting the relief, forcing them to pay a good portion of it back in taxes. Like other pandemic relief programs, the CERTS grants should not be taxable, it’s a matter of fairness, equity and recognition of the key role motorcoach operations play in this country. We appreciate the hard work and the long-standing support of our industry and this program by Representatives LaHood, Panetta, Kelly, Blumenauer, Rose, and Golden.
More information about the bill can be found here.