As the leading advocacy organization for the transportation industry in North Dakota, we urge our Congressional delegation to pass a tax reform overhaul across the finish line by year's end.

As an industry of small businesses-97 percent of trucking companies operate fewer than 20 trucks-we know full well how reducing tax rates can spark a growing company. Lowering the tax rates will free up small businesses to reinvest more of their hard earned revenue into their own growth, such as hiring new employees or purchasing new equipment.

That translates to good middle-income jobs for North Dakotans. The trucking industry provides 39,070 jobs-or one out of every nine-in our state. Total trucking wages paid in our state exceeded $1.9 billion with an average industry salary of $48,289.

Consider that many of these small businesses are family-owned. Increasing the threshold for the estate tax will allow these family businesses to move forward unto future generations without gratuitously penalizing families for taking a risk, achieving success and delivering value to their customers and community.

We are grateful to Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer for their support of the bill. We strongly urge Senator Heidi Heitkamp and other leaders to forge ahead and find a consensus package that can be signed into law by the end of the year. That would be a great Christmas gift to our economy.

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Spencer is executive vice president of the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association