NEW LAWS PASSED
HB 147 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2005
This multi-faceted budget bill includes a provision that exempts motor fuel purchased by the Department of General Services (DGS) for use by state agencies from the state motor fuel tax. In other words, this part of the new law will allow DGS to claim a refund of the tax on motor fuel that it purchases for use by state agencies. The state tax on gasoline is 23.5 cents per gallon, and diesel fuel is taxed at 24.25 cents per gallon.
This particular part of the new law becomes effective July 1, 2005. Chapter 444
HB 373 Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether - Clean Gasoline Alternatives - Report
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) is a gasoline additive that makes gasoline burn cleaner to reduce vehicle tailpipe emissions. Due to concerns about potential ground water contamination, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 373 which requires the Department of the Environment, on or before December 1, 2005, to develop and submit to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Environmental Matters Committee a report on the viability of alternatives to the use of MTBE in gasoline sold in the state.
Effective July 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005. Chapter 538
SB 740 Renewable Fuels Promotion Act of 2005
This bill provides incentives for the production and use of clean burning, domestically produced renewable fuels in the state, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel, which can be made from small grains and is usually blended into gasoline. Biodiesel is an alternative motor fuel produced from a renewable source such as vegetable oil or animal fat. The most common blend used in motor vehicles is a mixture of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent regular diesel fuel. The new law establishes a renewable fuels incentive board that would review credit certification applications and pay credits of up to 20 cents a gallon.
Effective October 1, 2005.
SB 448 Motor Fuel Tax - Exemption for Biodiesel Fuel - Queen Anne's County
This bill exempts biodiesel fuel purchased for use in Queen Anne's County Government vehicles and school buses from the state motor fuel tax; and and providing for the termination of the Act in three years.
Unfavorable report - Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.