On Wednesday, the House approved H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, by a vote of 378–46. This bill restores for all of 2014 (Jan. 1, 2014 – Dec. 31, 2014) tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, including the alternative fuel (CNG, LNG) and infrastructure tax credits for NGVs. The incentives are important because they help businesses more quickly offset the higher upfront costs of NGVs, and they reward investments in NGV fueling infrastructure.
Unlike previous legislative proposals, it does not extend the tax incentives through 2015.
Unfortunately, H.R. 5771 did not include a provision, promoted by NGVAmerica, to correct the LNG highway excise tax inequity.
The tax bill now moves to the Senate, where Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has indicated that the Senate has no plans to amend the bill, setting the stage for an up-or-down vote. Senate leaders haven’t said when they will vote on the measure. The expectation is that the Senate will take action sometime before it adjourns at the end of the year.
Given the current outlook, it appears that the next Congress will have to address the status of 2015 tax incentives when it convenes next year.
Senate Finance Committee Hearing on NGVs
America’s Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure held a hearing last week on Natural Gas Vehicles: Fueling American Jobs, Enhancing Energy Security, and Achieving Emissions Benefits. The hearing featured testimony from a panel of distinguished industry representatives including five NGVAmerica members.
In addition to testifying concerning how their companies are actively promoting the expanded use of NGVs, many of the speakers also touched on the critical importance of correcting the LNG highway excise tax penalty, and the need to extend the alternative fuel and infrastructure credits. The witnesses also addressed and were questioned on a wide range of issues including the status of NGV technologies, the environmental benefits of NGVs, and the higher cost of the vehicles. Senator Cornyn (R-TX) specifically questioned speakers regarding how correcting the LNG excise tax would impact the Highway trust fund.
NGVAmerica has provided additional information on its website, accessible here. A full video of the hearing can be found here: goo.gl/2vpCl8.