Lift trucks: Propane credit deadline looms

Retroactive to 2010, credit could save propane users thousands

By ·

The deadline for a valuable propane credit is looming, and Brian Feehan, vice president of the Propane Education & Research Council, doesn’t want anyone to miss out.

“I dread the day after Aug. 1 that someone says they didn’t get in,” Feehan recently told Modern.

Effective retroactively for all of 2011and 2010, the credit could allow propane users to recoup 50 cents of each gallon spent on propane each year—provided the paperwork is submitted by Aug. 1, 2011. The credit is one of the many propane legislative initiatives backed by the National Propane Gas Association, the national trade association representing the U.S. propane industry.

Feehan was careful to note that his organization, PERC, cannot be seen to influence the outcome of any legislative decision, but did offer that, “We were pleased to see it pass.” The initiative was approved as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The act also included incentives for natural gas, bio-diesel, and ethanol, which join propane in the “alternative fuels” classification.

The new credit is modeled after a three-year credit that was approved in 2005, and was effective for a three-year period beginning in 2006. That original credit was intended to be renewed annually, but was left to expire at the end of 2009. As the materials handling industry works to lift itself from the record lows of that year, Feehan said he is pleased the propane credit could once again be renewed.

“The materials handling industry is very important to the propane industry,” said Feehan, noting that materials handling creates steady demand as opposed to the seasonal fluctuations of other key propane markets. “We recognize the importance of that market and support it every way we can.”

An act of congress created PERC in 1996 and mandated that four tenths of a percent of odorized propane sales go to PERC. Twenty percent of that money is in turn disbursed to state PERC programs and the remaining 80 percent goes toward research and development in propane safety, residential and commercial applications, agricultural propane use, and other areas.

“Propane is well-supported and well-positioned, as evidenced by the growth in the industry over the past decade or more,” said Feehan, who said that as the materials handling industry regains strength, he looked forward to corresponding growth in propane use spurred by continuous advances in propane technology such as hybrids and reduced emissions. “There’s cautious optimism and going forward we expect propane to be part of that optimism.”

About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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