One of the most pressing problems facing the United States today is the prospect of a diminishing supply of energy coupled with an ever-increasing demand. The American economy, traditionally based on continued growth and increased consumption of goods, is now confronted with the reality that the earth's resources are limited. Conservation of existing resources and development of new sources of energy are vital if the United States is to maintain its current standard of living.
During the winters of 1976-1977 and 1977-1978, Ohio, as well as a number of other states, experienced a critical shortage of natural gas brought on by a combination of factors: unusually cold weather, miscalculation by utility companies in projecting needs of consumers, and a diminishing supply of natural gas. Residential consumers were encouraged to lower their thermostats and adopt other conservation measures. Thousands of industrial consumers had their allotments severely curtailed in order to ensure that the supply of natural gas would last through the end of the heating season. Severe economic consequences, as well as physical hardships, resulted from the shortage. It was against the backdrop of this natural gas shortage that the Ohio Legislature enacted House Bill 4671 in July of 1978. The purpose of the bill is to decrease Ohio's dependence on natural gas by encouraging conversion to other more plentiful sources of energy. In addition, the bill is designed to slow the growth rate in energy demand by encouraging more efficient use of existing supplies. Tax exemptions are the means chosen to achieve these goals.
The following discussion of H.B. 467 will begin with a summary of Ohio energy-related legislation. This will be followed by an explanation of the types of facilities for which tax-exempt certificates will be issued under the new legislation. The procedural provisions of the statute will then be reviewed, followed by a textual analysis of the bill. A discussion of the effectiveness of the particular tax incentives selected by the legislature will include a comparison of the Ohio bill with comparable federal and state statutes.
"H.B. 467: Tax Incentives for the Construction of Conversion and Conservation Facilities,"
University of Dayton Law Review: Vol. 4:
2, Article 16.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udlr/vol4/iss2/16