2014 Legislative History of the Federal Fuel and Infrastructure Tax Credit

On December 19,2014, President Obama signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) to extend the tax credits through 2014. Prior to the signing of this bill, NGVAmerica looked at comprehensive tax reform and worked toward including tax extenders in a number of other bills in 2014.

To start the process for comprehensive tax reform, the two chairmen of the tax writing committees—Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) for the Finance Committee and Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) for the Ways and Means Committee—brought forward detailed proposals on certain areas of tax reform. NGVAmerica testified before the Committees and provided comments for their consideration. The decision to move forward on comprehensive tax reform is a difficult one as there is a large partisan divide about h2ow comprehensive tax reform should be addressed, what the purpose of comprehensive tax reform is (or should be) and the underlying goals of tax reform. Further, the leadership on both sides of the Capitol is nervous about asking members to take hard votes during an election year on legislation that may not become law. Complicating matters, Sen. Baucus (D-MT) has retired from the Senate to become the U.S. Ambassador to China.

The second—and more promising—option was to try  tax extenders bills. Sen. Baucus drafted a bill to modify all energy taxes including the CNG fuel credit. His proposal extends the fuel credit for three years (until 2016) and modifies them with a clean fuel credit based on BTU and emission factors. The infrastructure credit is not included in that proposal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)  introduced legislation (S.1859) that provides for a clean extension of all credits until 2014, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has been a champion for energy-related tax provisions and is the new Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wanted extenders quickly.

In April, the Senate Finance Committee considered and passed—on a bipartisan vote—the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act (S. 2260; S. Rept. 113-154), a “tax extenders” bill. The legislation includes two-year extensions (from January 1, 2014 thru December 31, 2015) for the preexisting 50 cent per gallon alternative transportation fuel tax credit and the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property tax credit. The EXPIRE Act was reported out of the Finance Committee under the leadership of Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). It is still awaiting further action by the full Senate.

In the House of Representatives, H.R. 5559 was introduced in September and includes provisions to extend the infrastructure and fuel credits through 2015 (Sec. 3 extends the fueling infrastructure credits and Sec. 12 extends the fuel credit).


Last Reviewed: December 18, 2014