Kirk, Blumenthal Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Curb Rental Car Costs for Consumers


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today introduced S. 1164, the Ending Discriminatory Rental Car Taxes on Automobile Renters Act (EDSTAR) Act, to prohibit states from imposing new taxes on rental cars, which often adds up to more than 40% of the cost of renting a car in the United States. Since 1990, more than 100 special car rental tax rates have been enacted in 43 states and the District of Columbia, costing rental car consumers more than $7.5 billion.

A recent survey from the U.S. Travel Association said that 49% of travelers have cut back on travel plans due to high costs and travel taxes. The effect of this is felt throughout the hospitality, manufacturing and sales industries in Illinois and throughout the country.
„High rental car taxes are causing tourists to cut back on travel which in turn, hurts the 563,000 jobs in Illinois that rely on the hospitality industry,” Senator Kirk said. „Rental car taxes have cost consumers more than $7.5 billion since 1990. This bill provides needed tax relief and more accurate pricing of rental cars.”

„This bill will eliminate an egregiously unfair tax, burdening an industry significant to Connecticut and help drive tourism, jobs, and economic growth,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Rental car customers should not face such discriminatory taxation; rather, they should be provided with the same protections already granted to airline, train, and commercial bus customers.”

For more than 35 years, state and local governments have been imposing discriminatory taxes on rental car companies and their customers. Though it is commonly assumed that these discriminatory taxes affect out-of-state customers and those traveling, a majority of rental car users are in-state and 41% of rental car taxes are paid by households earning less than $50,000 annually.Congress – pursuant to its constitutional authority under the Commerce Clause – has enacted protections for other interstate travelers such as airline, train, and bus passengers. EDSTAR would close a loophole in federal law by extending these enacted protections to rental car consumers.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) are original cosponsors of S. 1164.

The following organizations support S. 1164:
-Advantage Rent A Car
-Alamo Rent A Car
-American Car Rental Association
-American International Automobile Dealers Association
-American Society of Travel Agents
-Americans for Tax Reform
-Associated Industries of Florida
-Avis Rent A Car
-Budget Car Rental
-Dollar Rent A Car
-Enterprise CarShare
-Enterprise Rent-A-Car
-Ford Motor Company
-General Motors
-Global Business Travel Association
-The Hertz Corporation
-National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers
-National Car Rental
-National Consumers League
-National Limousine Association
-National Urban League
-Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
-Rent A Toll
-Thrifty Car Rental
-Truck Renting and Leasing Association
-United Autoworkers