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This week, it was Nebraska, Mississippi and Washington making changes to the taxation of natural gas. In Nebraska, LB 867 changes the state excise tax so that it is now imposed

per GGE for CNG and per DGE for LNG. The change becomes effective January 1, 2015. LB 867 also exempts natural gas that is used to compress or liquefy natural gas for transportation from sales and use taxes. Further, the utility gross receipts taxes normally imposed on natural gas will not apply through Jan. 1, 2020 to natural gas that is sold for transportation purposes.

In Mississippi, HB 1590 amends the motor fuel tax so that LNG is now taxed on a DGE basis at a rate of 18 cents. LNG vehicles also will no longer be required to comply with the states decal program. The changes are effective starting in 2015. In Washington, SB 6440 amends the motor fuel tax so that it no longer covers CNG or LNG. Both fuels instead will be covered by the decal program. Washington’s excise tax was not beneficial so this change may be a temporary improvement. Other changes impact utility taxes and limit the price that utilities may charge marine users of natural gas.

In Georgia, new incentives are included in HB 348, which was signed into law on April 4. The new law provides tax credits for medium and heavy duty alternative fuel vehicles.
The tax credits are limited to dedicated NGVs and vehicles that use at least 90 percent natural gas. The maximum value of the credits is as follows: $12,000 for vehicles weighing 8,501–26,000 lbs. GVWR, and $20,000 for vehicles at 26,001 lbs. GVWR and up. The credits are capped at $2.5 million per fiscal year and there is a per company limit of $250,000 per year. The incentives are in place from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017.

Other important bills enacted:

• New York: AB 8559 extends the excise tax exemption for natural gas and other fuels until Sept. 30, 2016
• Utah: HB 61 includes new grant incentives for heavy duty on-road vehicles as well as non-road vehicles and equipment
• Utah: HB 74 expands tax credits currently available for new vehicles or conversions to include leased vehicles