Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter last week signed into law the Green Truck and Motor Carrier Economic Development Program (HB 1298), which not only provides incentives for reducing emissions but also will make the state more competitive in trucking as it gradually brings Colorado’s taxes and fees in line with those of surrounding states, according to the Colorado Motor Carriers Association.
Rep. Buffie McFadyen (D-Pueblo West) was the primary sponsor for HB 1298, which focuses on three distinct areas: The bill would phase in a change to how state sales tax is applied on trucking fleets. Currently, a company must pay 100 percent of the state sales tax regardless of the fleet’s mileage in the state. HB 1298 will change this process gradually to where the state sales tax for tractors and trailers would be based upon the percentage of a fleet’s mileage within Colorado;
The bill modifies the state law relating to enterprise zones that will allow rolling stock based in those areas to qualify for the 3 percent equipment tax credit. Like the sales tax provision, this portion of the law will be phased in over five years; and
A “Green Truck Fund” will be created to help provide grants and funding to help fleets acquire U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay technologies that help reduce fuel consumption and emissions. In addition, this section includes a provision that could provide funds for the retirement/scrappage of pre-1990 trucks that are substantial emitters. The Green Truck Fund will be funded through grants, donations and private support.
Because of funding constraints within the state, the implementation and phasing in of the sales tax change and enterprise tax credit provisions will not begin until Jan. 1, 2011.