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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=24644
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: October 2, 2017 09:52 AM
From: Representative Brian L. Ellis
To: All House members
Subject: Alternative Fuels Tax
 
In the very near future I intend to introduce legislation that will streamline the collection of appropriate alternative fuels tax and ensure fair and equitable taxation and enforcement across all fuel types. By enacting the Alternative Fuels Compliance and General Compliance Enforcement provision, additional annual revenue of $4.2 million is projected for the Motor License Fund. This bill was introduced by me last session as HB 1057. Previous sponsors were MUSTIO, HARPER, EVERETT, A. HARRIS, SCHLOSSBERG, CUTLER, HELM, CARROLL, HANNA, GAINEY, KORTZ, SONNEY, SAYLOR and ZIMMERMAN.

This initiative will focus on alternative fuels taxation due to the expanding alternative fuels landscape within Pennsylvania. The Bureau of Motor and Alternative Fuel Taxes (MAFT) will focus on modernizing outdated laws and administrative policies for electricity, ethanol, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen and other non-conventional fuels so that tax simplification, education and outreach, targeted enforcement, technology and administrative efficiencies are created for enhanced revenue collections. As part of modernizing the statutory code, MAFT proposes the elevation of the alternative fuels point of taxation to the distributor level, while also expanding the alternative fuel provisions clearly distinguishing these fuels from gasoline and diesel.
  • Modernize administration – adopts industry standard terms and techniques for calculating and collecting alternative fuels tax.
  • Alternative fuels distributor – eliminates the confusing dealer/user category and replaces it with distributor to mirror existing gas and diesel protocols.
  • Electric vehicle road fee – establishes an annual fee in place of the alternative fuels tax on electricity which will be administered by PENNDOT.
  • Blenders – addresses blending operations to ensure all applicable taxes are collected.
This initiative is directly dependent upon the enforcement of the recommended Alternative Fuels legislation and the correction of outdated tax laws in the Vehicle Code. These changes will improve the existing Liquid Fuels and Fuels Tax (LFFT) and Motor Carrier Road Tax (MCRT) statutes, and improve the Alternative Fuels tax administration to be more efficient and, effective, resulting in, enhanced future revenues.

  • Modernize administration – seeks the maximization of electronic filing and payment to reduce administrative burden.
  • Risk management – establish bonding and licensing requirements that weigh taxpayer risk factors to protect the Commonwealth’s financial interests.
  • Clarify exempt entities – clarify qualifications for exempt entities and exempt uses, thereby improving compliance and reducing the likelihood of needless litigation.
  • Public safety & consumer protection – provides a mechanism by which the Department can enforce possible safety violations or consumer fraud.
  • Recordkeeping – strengthens the taxpayer recordkeeping requirements, consistent with recent Pennsylvania court decisions.
  • Penalty and citations – changes misdemeanor offenses to summary offenses to both reduce the need for criminal litigation support and improve enforcement capabilities.
I hope that you will consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation.