WARREN - Legislation that offers tax incentives for purchasing a vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas or retrofitting an existing car or truck engine to run on the alternative fuel appears to have some traction in the Ohio House.
The proposal, made by Democrat state Rep. Sean O'Brien of Brookfield and Millersburg, Holmes County-Republican Dave Hall, is being welcomed with open bi-partisan arms and has support from the leadership of both parties.
Introduced Monday, the bill also establishes a sales tax reduction for people who buy electric vehicles and creates a five-year compressed natural gas fuel tax that would match the current diesel and gasoline tax.
O'Brien said when he began developing the proposal in September, the credit would pay up to half of the cost of conversion, which is $5,000 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for medium-duty vehicles; and $25,000 for heavy-duty vehicles.
The news release says the proposal's incentives would be self-funded by existing oil and gas taxes on companies in Ohio. The programs would be phased out after five years to avoid the government subsidizing a form of fuel.
''We believe the government may help start this process,'' O'Brien said. ''However, it is ultimately up to the private sector and market forces to dictate the future of alternative fuels in Ohio.''