Matthew Godlewski, president of NGVAmerica, asked Oklahoma legislators not to pass a bill that would cut a number of tax incentives for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and fueling stations.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 977 would establish a moratorium that stunts progress made through incentives that helped the growth of NGVs in Oklahoma and created statewide public access to compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations, Godlweski wrote in a letter to the editor for The Journal Record.
The bill would cut incentives Oklahoma passed in 2009, 2010, and 2011, which includes a tax credit that covers up to 45% of the cost of a new or modified clean-burning motor vehicle. The state also offered the incentive of covering 75% of the cost of installing commercial alternative fueling infrastructures. The growth in fueling stations has grown 79% since 2011, according to Godlewski.
The incentives have saved Oklahomans millions of dollars and helped with the state’s air quality and economy, according to Godlewski. He said that NGV drivers have already saved nearly $85 million since the tax credits were enacted, and that clean transportation motorists would save approximately $55 million over the next four years if the credits continue.
The tax credits have meant a net cost benefit of over $18 million dollars for all taxpayers, according to Godlewski. He says Oklahoma has more CNG fueling stations per capita than any other state.
Oklahoma faces a $1.3 billion budget deficit, according to Bloomberg.
If the bill passes, the tax credits would be suspended from July 1 of this year to June 30, 2018.