Building Opportunity: New Tax Credits in Florida Aim to Incent Economic Development and Job Creation Through Biofuel Infrastructure Investments
by Erin Voegele (Biodiesel Magazine) …Specifically, the bill provides a sales tax refund for materials used in the distribution of blends of B10 through neat B100, ethanol blends of E10-E100, and other renewable fuels produced with biomass feedstock and used to reduce consumption of fossil-based transportation fuels. A statewide cap of $1 million per year is placed on the incentive, which is scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2016.
The law also includes a renewable energy technologies investment tax credit. Under the initiative, 75 percent of all capital, operation, maintenance and research and development costs incurred between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016, in connection with an investment in production, storage and distribution of B10-B100, E10-E100 and other renewable fuels qualify for the tax credit. The law specifies eligible costs include those associated with constructing, installing and equipping these technologies within the state. The retrofit of fueling station pumps for B10-B100, E10-E100 and other renewable fuels qualify as an eligible cost. A cap of $1 million per year per taxpayer is set, with a $10 million per year cap for all taxpayers.
… Ned Bowman, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, says the potential of the incentives could be tempered by low demand for biodiesel and other biofuels. “I think the credits may help some of our members, but for many it won’t make a difference,” he says. “They want to see demand for [biodiesel] before they make an investment. There has got to be demand in order for the market to pick it up and capture it.”
…HB 7117 could also impact algae development and infrastructure projects, thereby affecting growth of algae biofuels within Florida. The law establishes new regulations regarding algae and cyanobacteria cultivation. Under the law, nonnative algae and cyanobacteria—including those that are genetically engineered—cannot be cultivated at a scale of more than two contiguous acres without a special permit. A permit is not required, however, to cultivate plants or groups of plants that, based on experiences or research data, do not pose a threat of being an invasive species. The plants grown without permit are specified to be those commonly grown in the state for human food consumption, commercial feed, feedstuffs, livestock forage, nursery stock, or silviculture. READ MORE