Fuel Tax Fix Pt 1

Fuel Tax Fix Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. The Washington State Department of Ecology has dropped the ball in the roll out of the new CO2 emissions fuel tax.

The Washington Policy Center’s Ag Research Director, Pam Lewison says, the DOE doesn’t appear to have a mechanism in place to single out agriculture’s exemption from the tax …

LEWISON … “I would hope that Ecology realizes that it is in fact a clerical error on their part, and they address it in some way moving forward. However, I don’t know that that’s going to occur.”

And, Lewison says, it doesn’t appear Ecology is ready to accept any blame …

LEWISON … “What I’m hearing in discussions is Ecology is saying, you know, this isn’t our problem. This is an oil refinery and fuel distributor problem. And, oil refineries and fuel distributors are saying, no, no, no, no, no, we’ll address this problem once you give us the mechanism to do that, Department of Ecology. And in the meantime, you have these ag fuel purchasers stuck in the middle.”

So, is a legislative fix the answer? …

LEWISON … “The trouble with a legislative fix is we have to have some sort of sunset that addresses that the auction costs are going to change on a quarterly basis. And, it also needs to address not what the auction cost is right now, but it should be truly a reimbursement of whatever a food producer or food transporter has been charged for their fuel purchases rather than the set auction emissions rate.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the CO2 emissions fuel tax that ag producers and transporters are supposed to be exempt from.

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