A bill sponsored by state Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, promoting hydrogen energy was passed unanimously out of the state House on Thursday. House Bill 1729 would create and expand tax incentives for developing and selling hydrogen fuel products.
"This bill would greatly enhance the opportunity for Washington to become a hydrogen hub," Abbarno said. "Communities in Southwest Washington and beyond are competing on the national and international stage to become part of a hydrogen hub and this legislation will help keep us competitive."
Under the proposal, a preferential business and occupation tax rate of 0.2904% would be offered beginning on Jan. 1, 2024. The preferential tax rate would be provided to businesses engaged in research, development or deployment of hydrogen fuel products; businesses involved in manufacturing hydrogen products; and businesses making sales at retail or wholesale of hydrogen fuel products.
Abbarno, who co-chairs the Hydrogen Caucus in the state House and serves as one of the assistant ranking members of the House Capital Budget Committee, played a role in securing funding for Washington’ first hydrogen refueling station, located in Chehalis.
"A diverse energy portfolio is about security and reliability for residential and commercial users," Abbarno said. "Hydrogen is an emerging source of transportation fuel, manufacturing energy, and other educational and workforce possibilities. There is substantial private and public investment in hydrogen, and the 20th Legislative District and Washington state are positioned to be the recipients of those investments."
HB 1729 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.