News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 28, 2014

Amendment seeks propane price relief

Sen. Waterman among its sponsors

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — An Indiana Senate amendment seeks to provide a price relief to Hoosiers impacted from a Midwest propane shortage.

State Sens. John Waterman, R-Shelburn, Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown and Jim Smith,R-Charlestown offered the amendment to Senate Bill 1.

“It eliminates the sales tax from January 1 to April 1 on any propane bought for more than $2.50 per gallon,” Waterman said Tuesday.

The amendment passed a second reading on Tuesday in the Indiana Senate, and Waterman expects Senate Bill 1 to pass with the amendment on a third reading today.

Waterman said the amendment received bipartisan support, which he thinks will allow the amendment to also pass through the Indiana House.

If approved, Hoosiers would get a credit on their next propane bill to offset the sales tax paid on any charge over $2.50 per gallon.

“We feel this is one thing the state can do to relieve some of that [price] pressure,” Waterman said. On a 500-gallon propane tank, depending on the price paid to fill the tank, Hoosiers can expect to save $100 to $150 from the sales tax amendment, Waterman said.

Waterman said the amendment will not cost the state of Indiana.

He said the state had budgeted sales tax receipts at $2.50 per gallon.

“It is a [revenue] projection we did not have on the sales tax because we were not expecting this very cold weather to go on this long,” Waterman said. “That is why the [sales tax] credit is on anything over $2.50 per gallon.

“People need help with the job market and with the price of food going up. This was something we could do legislatively to help with something that was unexpected,” Waterman said of the propane shortage.



Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.