- Photo via flickr/Mark Fischer.

Photo via flickr/Mark Fischer.

The American Car Rental Association provides the following updates on current issues of interest to U.S. car rental operators:

MAG Relief 2.0: The FAA hosted a webinar on April 22 regarding implementation of the $800 million in MAG relief grants contained in the “American Rescue Plan Act” (COVID 5.0). A recording of the webinar is available here.

CERTS Program: Perhaps “lost” in the sheer size of the $1.9 trillion 5.0 bill, the Treasury Department has yet to implement the $2 billion in grants for transportation service providers (CERTS) from the COVID 4.0 law in December 2020; as this newsletter goes to press, Treasury has not yet released a grant application form and application procedures; once ACRA receives the Treasury forms and guidance, they will be sent to all ACRA members.

Health Workplaces Tax Credit: ACRA has signed on to a coalition letter to President Biden and congressional leaders to promote legislation to provide a payroll tax credit for expenses businesses have incurred to create safe business environments for their employees and customers. If enacted, many ACRA members would be eligible for these tax credits.

Highway Bill/Infrastructure/Jobs/Social Safety Net Bill: President Biden has proposed two multi-trillion-dollar legislative initiatives in the last month — one focused on infrastructure (loosely defined) and the other on education and social programs. Of particular interest to ACRA members in the infrastructure package is funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as a proposal to raise the U.S. corporate tax rate.

Most analysts expect some form of infrastructure package to make it to the president’s desk by the end of summer — perhaps not as large as his $2 trillion proposal or as small as the $500 billion plan advanced by Senate Republicans. We’ll see if bi-partisanship and compromise can surface on Capitol Hill in the coming months.

EV Charging: ACRA will file a statement with the House Energy and Commerce Committee on May 5, 2021 supporting a proposal for 500,000 EV charging stations nationwide — including options for ACRA members to secure federal grants to acquire and install this equipment.

State Developments

Activities in most state legislatures are winding down this week and next for 2021. ACRA remains engaged in a number of issues across the country. Hawaii has been particularly challenging for the industry this year. Proposals to limit the number of rental cars in each county of the state, as well as a fleet electrification mandate, died in the closing hours of that state’s legislative session. The issues could be raised again in 2022.

California is considering ACRA-supported legislation to remove that state’s cap on LDW charges. The bill is moving through the legislature, but its fate is not clear as this newsletter goes to press.

Georgia’s Supreme Court on May 3rd ruled in Avis Budget Group’s favor in a case related whether a car rental company could be held liable for injuries to third parties caused by the driver of a stolen rental car. ACRA had filed an amicus brief support ABG in this litigation — a great win for ABG and the whole industry!

New and Returning ACRA Members

Please welcome the following new regular ACRA members:

• Clone Rental, Inc. in Taunton, Massachusetts

• Verc Van Rentals in Plymouth, Massachusetts; and

• The Rock Fleet Management, LLC in Naples, FL New Vendor

New Associate Members:

• MereoLogic with MereoGroup in New York, NY; Brian Aumueller - Managing Partner; Renewing

Renewing Associate Members:

• The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

• Damage ID

• Linda King Claims and Consulting Renewing

Renewing Operator Members:

• Green Motion International Car and Van Rental

• City Livery Leasing

• Alaska Rent A Car Inc.

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