February 21, 2013
A bill setting up a taxing structure for natural gas for vehicles – but now exempting the fuel from tax for five years – was approved unanimously Thursday by the Senate Transportation Committee. The measure (SB 560) would eventually replace the current auto decal system for taxing alternative fuels with a tax similar to the tax on diesel fuel or gasoline based on the amount purchased, but an amendment approved by the panel on Thursday would make the fuel tax exempt for the next five years. The proposal is aimed at boosting sales of natural gas for cars and trucks, which the bill's sponsor, Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, said would reduce dependence on foreign oil while also making the air cleaner. The measure goes next to the Senate Finance and Tax Committee. The House version of the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Lake Ray, R-Jacksonville, is awaiting its first committee hearing.
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