Ohio Lawmakers Eye Tax Breaks as CNG Popularity Grows

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Two Ohio state representatives have introduced bills in an effort to kick start compressed natural gas (CNG) sales in the Buckeye State.

State Rep. Sean J. O'Brien (D-Brookfield) introduced House Bill 336, which offers companies tax incentives for five years to help them cover the cost of switching to natural gas vehicles.

O'Brien's bill, which has 64 co-sponsors in the Ohio House of Representatives, would immediately impose a tax of 7 cents per gallon on CNG for the first three years, reported Vindy.com. This rate would rise to 14 cents per gallon during the fourth and fifth years, before settling in at Ohio's regular 28-cent motor fuel tax rate beginning in the sixth year.

A competing bill, sponsored by State Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) would help create a 10-year guaranteed loan program to fund CNG conversion by local governments and private businesses.

HR 335 includes a three-year tax holiday, followed by a rising tax that would equal the motor fuel tax after years, the news outlet reported.

While the Ohio House of Representatives considers both bills, Ohio's Mahoning Valley will soon get its first CNG fueling station. According to the news source, construction is set to begin on two pumps that would provide natural gas at the Mr Fuel station on Salt Springs Road in Girard, Ohio. The pumps are expected to be in operation by May or June.

CNG is being touted for many purported benefits, including local abundance, a lower price point and being a cleaner-burning fuel than traditional petroleum.

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