The Missouri Senate has advanced a series of tax credits encouraging Missourians to buy and drive more hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles. Sponsor LuAnn Ridgeway lives in Clay County, home of the Ford Claycomo plant, where a lot of hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles are made.  She says 40 percent of the vehicles coming off the assembly lines there fall into those categories.

She proposes tax credits for people who use biodiesel or E85 fuel in their vehicles…tax credits for people who buy those vehicles…and—to encourage increase availability of the fuels–tax credits for the gas stations to install equipment to pump those fuels.

Ridgeway says the federal government wants more cleaner-running vehicles produced. But she says many consumers don’t know what flex-fuel or biodiesel vehicles are and don’t know why they should buy one.  She says her tax credits are consumer-driven, aimed at encouraging more purchases of those vehicles, and creation of more places where owners can get fuel for them. 

Fellow Senator Victor Callahan of Independence says the state has provided millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations to built factories making biodiesel and ethanol.  But, he says, those tax breaks have not produced a market for those fuels.   He says Ridgeway’s tax package should help create that market. 

She says the consumer wins in two ways by getting a tax break on their vehicle…and a tax break on the costs of the alternative fuels they buy.  The Senate is likely to give its final approval next week and send her bill to the House.

(The bill is SB40)




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