Wednesday, September 12, 2012
California's Governor extends marine fuel tax exemption
Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that extends a partial tax exemption on marine fuel purchased in California that had been set to expire on January 1, 2014 to 2024.
The bill, SB 1243, was authored by state Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), and was originally intended to make the exemption permanent as a form of stimulus to California's marine fuel sales sector that reportedly employs close to 2,000 people.
The marine fuel tax exemption has lapsed twice in past years with the corresponding sales reportedly dropping close to 50 percent.
"The exemption has gone away twice, and each time we saw the same economic impacts," said Senator Lowenthal in a statement previous to the Governor's signing of the exemption.
"We cannot allow this to happen again. Not to the workers, not to our ports, and certainly not to our environment," Lowenthal said.
California's marine fuel is reported to be less polluting than out-of-state offerings.
The partial exemption covers fuel consumed outside of California and in international waters. The sales tax still applies for fuel used within the state's waters.
"We're very pleased Gov. Brown understood this legislation is needed to keep the marine fuel industry alive and well in our state," said John Berge, vice president of the Pacific Merchant Steamship Association in a statement.
Support for the fuel exemption extension legislation was broad, including from the California Labor Federation, the Inlandboatmen's Union, Sailors Union of the Pacific, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, state cities, port authorities, shipping companies and various organizations.
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