(Columbus, Ohio)— The Ohio House of Representatives voted unanimously Wednesday to pass a bill that would create a number of tax credits and grants for the conversion of alternative-fueled vehicles (AFV’s).
House Bill 336 was sponsored by State Representatives Sean O Brien (D-Hubbard) and Dave Hall (R-Millersburg). This legislation will create the Gaseous Fuels Conversion Program. This program will create a tax credit for the purchase or conversion of AFVs in the amount of 50% of the cost of conversion or purchase price of the vehicle or up to $25,000 depending on the weight of the vehicle. This program will also award grants to state agencies, political subdivisions, school districts, public transportation systems or a non-profit corporations to convert vehicles. The maximum grant award will be $500,000 per entity. This would apply to both Natural Gas and Propane. The bill also contains a $500 tax credit for the purchase of an electric vehicle.
“Passage of this bill will bring Ohio energy independence and enable our residents to pay less at the pump and put money in their pockets,” Representative O’Brien said on the House Floor. “It will also reduce the fuel bills for trucking and fleet businesses and will reduce the cost of doing business in Ohio.”
Ohio must offer financial incentives to help with up-front costs most small businesses and consumers can’t afford. A growing number of businesses have expressed interest in converting to a cheaper, domestic fuel source; but lack the capital needed to make the initial investment. In addition, several neighboring states are offering incentives to attract investment which will turn into jobs for Ohioans. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan have been extremely aggressive with financial incentives offering tax credits, grants or rebates. These tax credits will expire after 5 years.
“These incentives will sunset after five years but these five years are crucial so we don’t lose another generation of CNG users,” Hall stated. “This is a way to make sure we move to the next generation of clean energy.”
At least one other state has conducted an economic impact study regarding investment in Compressed Natural Gas. The State of Florida anticipates up to 10,000 new jobs because of aggressive financial incentives. Clean Fuels Ohio Executive Director Sam Spofforth has worked closely with a number of other states to promote alternative fuels.
“This bill would create jobs and save costs by enabling many more Ohio businesses, governments and individuals to use natural gas, propane and electric vehicles rather than more costly imported oil,” Spofforth commented. “We applaud Representatives O’Brien and Hall for their leadership, and the entire Ohio House for their emphatic statement of support. We now look forward to action by the Ohio Senate and Governor Kasich.”