Colorado Alternative Fuel Vehicle Bills Go Into the Books

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed two pieces of legislation that make new accommodations for the state's growing complement of alternative fuel vehicles.

Central to the first bill, H.B.1110, are provisions that enact more equitable taxation for the use of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane in transportation applications. Now, CNG, LNG and autogas will be taxed relative to their energy output rather than at the same rates as traditional fuels.

The excise tax on CNG will start at $0.03/gallon in calendar-year 2014 and rise to $0.183 in 2019 and beyond. LNG will be taxed at $0.03/gallon in 2014 and increase to $0.12/gallon in 2019, and propane will start at $0.03/gallon next year and move upward to $0.135 in 2019.

Another piece of legislation, H.B.1247, extends Colorado's existing incentive programs for alternative fuel vehicles through 2021. Statute had called for these measures to expire at the end of 2015, but the general assembly moved to lengthen the timeline ‘in order to facilitate the penetration of innovative motor vehicles into the marketplace.’

Purchases of light- and medium-duty (under 26,000 lbs. GVW) alt-fuel vehicles, as well as conversions, are eligible for a tax credit capped at $6,000. Propane autogas and natural gas vehicles are covered by the bill, and provisions for electric vehicles also appear in the legislation.

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