Natural gas tax exemption measure clears first Senate committee

The measure would extend an existing tax exemption on natural gas for two more years.

Members of the Senate Committee on Transportation cleared a bill (SB 322) that would extend the existing tax exemption on natural gas fuels for two years.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Gruters, received unanimous support. It heads next to the Finance and Tax Committee and then Appropriations before being teed up for a floor vote.

Companion legislation in the House (HB 529) from Rep. Jim Mooney has also cleared one committee stop and awaits a hearing in House Ways and Means.

“Natural gas fueled vehicles are a no brainer. They are cleaner and more efficient and use fuel sourced from right here in America,” said Dale Calhoun, executive director of the Florida Natural Gas Association.

“Extending the more than decade long tax exemption on natural gas fuels will allow Florida businesses to continue transitioning their fleets to natural gas fueled vehicles, which will provide copious benefits to the Sunshine State’s economy and environment.”

The current tax exemption for natural gas first launched in 2014. Without an extension, the exemption is set to expire at the end of the year.

“This exemption is important to continue due to the growth for additional refueling infrastructure with natural gas in the fleets working towards emissions vehicles,” Gruters said during his presentation to the committee. “Having this option is a positive, especially during hurricane season, when fleets don’t need to compete for valuable fuel supply.”

If the exemption were to expire, the Florida Natural Gas Association estimates trucking fleets that have converted would see an immediate increase to their fuel budgets of about $0.31 per gallon.

Several organizations have endorsed the legislation, including Associated Industries of Florida; Beer Industry of Florida; the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association; The Florida Chamber of Commerce; the Florida Natural Gas Association; Florida Public Utilities; the Florida Trucking Association; the National Waste and Recycling Association’s Florida chapter; and TECO Peoples Gas.

Various different types of natural gas fuel — compressed natural gas, liquified petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas — can power large vehicles ranging from school buses to garbage trucks.

Compressed natural gas is considered one of the cleanest fuels available for heavy duty vehicles.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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