JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --- Missouri senators last week gave preliminary approval to a biodiesel fuel mandate and new tax incentives for the use of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. The bill, introduced by Senator Bill Stouffer (R-Napton), would require diesel fuel sold in the state to contain 5 percent biodiesel in April 2009, as long as its price didn't exceed the price of traditional diesel, according to a report in the Columbia Tribune newspaper. An existing state law, taking effect next January, will require most gasoline sold in the state to contain a 10 percent ethanol blend, as long as the price doesn't exceed regular gasoline. Stouffer's bill drew strong backing from Missouri's agricultural industry, which already supplies corn and soy beans for the production of these alternative fuels. After voting on the biodiesel mandate, the Senate also gave preliminary approval to 2008 income tax credits for people who buy biodiesel or an 85 percent ethanol-blend gasoline. The credits amount to 5 cents a gallon for biodiesel and 25 cents per gallon for ethanol. These tax credits would be capped at $500 per taxpayer and $500,000 total in Missouri, phasing out by 2012. The Senate also gave initial approval to a tax credit for buyers of hybrid vehicles, which would take effect next year. Those qualifying would get an income tax credit of up to $1,500 or 10 percent of the vehicle buying price, whichever is less. A third incentive drawing preliminary approval would waive the sales tax for 2008 purchases of E-85-equipped vehicles.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials