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State Legislative and Regulatory Update

Things have definitely slowed down in the state capitals now that summer is in full swing. In fact, many state legislatures are done for the year or are taking a break, but there is still some action to report.

This past week, Gov. Nixon of Missouri signed into law two important bills. The first bill (HB 2141) adopts the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) and diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) units for purposes of taxing CNG and LNG. The measure also directs the state authorities to recognize the DGE unit for retail dispensing of LNG (Missouri and virtually all states already recognize the GGE unit for dispensing CNG). The National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) is set to vote on the DGE standard at its Annual Meeting in Detroit next week (July 13–17). The Missouri law directs state authorities to use the DGE unit for dispensing LNG until or unless NCWM adopts a different standard. The tax change and the weights and measure provisions in HB 2141 take effect January 1, 2016.
Missouri currently administers its motor fuel taxes for natural gas via a decal program. Under the new law, some private station operators will be able to continue with the decals if they prefer but they can’t sell fuel to the general public. The second new law (SB 729) renews the state’s now expired incentive for alternative fuel infrastructure. Under the law, natural gas fueling stations will qualify for an incentive worth 20 percent of the cost of new fueling equipment or a maximum of $20,000. Equipment installed after August 28, 2014 will qualify, and the tax incentive extends to tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017. The total amount of credits is capped each year at $1 million for all stations. Residential fueling units qualify for a $1,500 credit.

In the Nation’s Capital, the DC Council passed bill 849 and sent it to Mayor Vincent Gray. The measure provides a 50 percent tax credit for the purchase of AFVs and refueling equipment for years 2014–2026. The credit would be available to individuals and corporations. The language indicates that the tax credits are for converting a diesel or gasoline vehicle to operate on alternative fuel (It is unclear whether the provision extends to new OEM AFVs). The credit for vehicles has maximum value of $19,000 while the refueling credit is capped at $10,000 or $1,000 for a home fueling unit.