- Florida’s tax exemption on natural gas fuels may be extended for two more years with the proposed HB 529.
- The bill has received unanimous support from the House Energy, Communications & Cybersecurity Subcommittee and aims to provide cost savings to industries, reduce carbon emissions, and decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil.
- Natural gas fuels power various vehicles across the state, and the proposed bill has received endorsements from various organizations.
Florida’s statewide tax exemption on natural gas fuels may be extended for two more years, according to a proposal from Representative Jim Mooney, HB 529. The House Energy, Communications & Cybersecurity Subcommittee voted unanimously to support the bill on the first day of the 2023 Legislative Session. Supporters say the bill will provide cost savings to Florida’s key industries, reduce overall carbon emissions, and decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil.
“HB 529 will extend the natural gas fuel excise exemption tax until January 1, 2026,” Mooney said during the committee stop. “The Governor has recommended that in his budget this year and this will codify that.”
If the current tax exemption is not extended, proponents say that trucking fleets across Florida that have transitioned to natural gas fuels will face an overnight increase in their fuel budgets of approximately $0.31 per gallon. Furthermore, they are already facing global supply challenges in the fuel market that contribute to disruption in service and cost increases.
Natural gas fuels, such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), power vehicles ranging from school buses to garbage trucks across the Sunshine State. Waste Management, which has invested $2.5 billion in a fleet of natural gas-powered vehicles, says it has reduced its annual fuel usage by 8,000 gallons per diesel-powered truck that has been replaced with a natural gas vehicle.
The proposed bill has also received endorsements from several other organizations, including the Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Trucking Association.
“Natural gas vehicles achieve high mileage, reduce carbon emissions and are powered by clean fuel sourced in America,” said Dale Calhoun, executive director of the Florida Natural Gas Association. “By increasing available incentives and reducing the burden on Florida businesses, more companies will be able to transition their fleets to natural gas-powered vehicles, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions on highways across the Sunshine State.”
HB 529 next heads to the House Committee on Ways and Means.