Novel N.Y. Bill Aimed at $1.5B in Fossil Fuel Tax Subsidies

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By Gerald B. Silverman

The fossil fuel industry could lose some $1.5 billion in New York state tax subsidies under a bill ( A. 8675) that sponsors said is the first measure of its kind in the country.

Introduced in the state Legislature Sept. 25, the bill would impose a three-year sunset on all existing fossil-fuel-related tax expenditures and require that the governor submit an annual analysis with a recommendation on whether the subsidies should be continued, amended, or repealed.

Sponsors of the bill cited the need to combat climate change and improve transparency.

However, Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, told Bloomberg BNA that the bill has little chance of passage in both houses of the Legislature, which is in recess until January.

“Not surprising, this bill reflects the ideologically-driven approach of a few downstate elitists trying to demonize fossil fuels which are the life-blood of our economy,” she said in a Sept. 25 email. “This is part of a narrow activist agenda that ignores the critical role that natural gas has played in reducing carbon emissions, which are near 25-year lows from energy use.”

The state’s environmental groups widely support the bill.

Tax Expenditure Report

Under the bill, the governor would be required to include information in the state’s annual tax expenditure report on all fossil-fuel-related tax expenditures. In addition, the report would include recommendations to continue, eliminate, or amend the expenditures.

The largest fossil-fuel-related tax expenditure, according to the state’s most recent report, is a sales tax exemption worth $747 million for the retail sale of oil, natural gas, and other fuel for residential purposes.

Others include a $118 million sales exemption for the delivery of gas and electricity; an $87 million sales tax exemption for fuel sold to airlines; and a $122 million sales tax exemption for fuel, gas, and electricity used in research and development.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gerald B. Silverman in Albany, N.Y. at GSilverman@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer McLoughlin at jmcloughlin@bna.com

For More Information

Text of A. 8675 is at http://src.bna.com/sQH.

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