Proposed bill pumps up CNG incentives

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Two Louisiana lawmakers want to pump up tax incentives for motorists who convert their cars to run on natural gas.  Senator Nick Gautreaux and Representative Jane Smith say they'll co-sponsor a bill in the upcoming legislative session that will offer incentives for people to buy natural gas vehicles (CNG), or convert them to run on CNG.

"We're excited," says Rep. Smith, who says the bill has already attracted positive, bi-partisan feedback.  "The huge component, and I think the most important, is it gives a great incentive for people to actually purchase the fueling equipment to install in a station so that it's easy access to the consumer.  You've got to have that. It's such an important component to all of this, that if you can convert, but if you don't have easy access to refueling, then it's not going to work."

The measure would also increase tax breaks for companies and individuals who purchase vehicles that take natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel fuel.

Specifically, the proposed legislation includes provisions to: Increase the existing income tax credit from 20 to 50 percent for purchase of qualified clean burning motor vehicle fuel property, including equipment installed on a motor vehicle and property directly related to the delivery of an alternative fuel. Increase the existing income tax credit for the purchase of a motor vehicle with qualified clean burning motor vehicle fuel property installed by the manufacturer of such vehicle in an amount not exceeding less than 20 percent of 10 percent of the vehicle's cost or $1,500, whichever is less to 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle or $3,000, whichever is less.

Establish the existing credit as a refundable income tax credit if no taxes are owed.

Repeal provisions under current law that prohibit a company or individual who qualifies for Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program from taking advantage of the existing income tax credits for alternative fueled vehicles and equipment.

It's one more way Rep. Smith says the state can benefit from the Haynesville Shale. "We've got it here, it's abundant, it's American. People are excited about it, we just want to not lose this wonderful advantage we have right now."