Research / Industry & Commerce


Other | December 2019

Issues to Watch - 2020

Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore

As the 2020 legislative cycle approaches, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to identify and research current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by Anne Roberts Brody, policy and program manager, and Roger Moore and Cody Allen, policy analysts, and provides a sampling of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2020 legislative term. State actions referenced in this report may represent appropriate policy options for Southern lawmakers to consider and, as such, may include bills or policies originating outside the SLC region.

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Policy Analysis | December 2019

Motor Fuel Evaporation Deductions

Roger Moore

During the handling, transportation and storage of motor fuel, evaporation loss commonly occurs. Movement from production operations to refineries, followed by fuel terminals and, lastly, service stations and local storage plants, often results in a loss of fuel caused by changes in temperature and modes of transportation.1 As a result, the amount of motor fuel delivered for consumption often is less than the original amount produced and refined.

Wholesalers are obligated to pay taxes on fuel based on the amount purchased at the time of receipt, before it is delivered and sold to retail outlets. Due to evaporation, the original taxable amount of fuel may be greater than the amount that ultimately is sold to retailers. Although wholesalers collect taxes from their buyers, they may not fully recoup the taxes they paid at the time of the original purchase.

To account for this discrepancy, many states have enacted deductions for dealers, suppliers and/or distributors of motor fuel. In the SLC region, eight of the 15 states currently have deductions to offset losses from fuel evaporation, ranging from 0.004 percent up to 3 percent of the original taxable amount. A review of state codes identified fuel evaporation deductions in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Other states have fuel-related deductions, but these are not specifically associated with evaporation loss.

Codified Fuel Evaporation Deductions
Alabama

Evaporation Deduction: 0.004 percent

§40-17-341

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SLC Regional Resource | March 2019

Sports Betting in the South

Cody Allen

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court — via a 6-3 decision in Murphy, Governor of New Jersey v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (Murphy v. NCAA) — overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a longstanding federal prohibition on professional and amateur single-game sports wagering. The Murphy v. NCAA case was closely followed by state governments across the country, as ending the prohibition could open up an additional source of revenue. On September 5, 2017, West Virginia — joined by 20 other states — filed an amici curiae brief in support of New Jersey. Several signatories from SLC member states joined the brief, including the attorneys general of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, as well as the governor of Kentucky.

This SLC Regional Resource, current as of January 31, 2019, examines the status of active sports gambling laws in Mississippi and West Virginia, the two SLC states that currently authorize it. As additional data is gathered on the revenue gained from taxing sports wagering, it is anticipated many states will act during the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions to bring this form of gaming to their states — especially those with a lottery or casino gaming infrastructure already in place.

2019-2020
Chair

Representative
Manly Barton

Mississippi

2019-2020
Vice Chair

Representative
Nathaniel Ledbetter

Alabama

Immediate
Past Chair

Representative
Jeanie Lauer

Missouri

Committee
Liaison
Roger Moore

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst


The SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee examines issues related to infrastructure, economic progress and cultural strengths in the Southern region. Discussions and reports of the committee have focused on Southern state actions to bring manufacturing operations of national and foreign companies to the region, as well as the importance of ports, roads and railways for the movement of manufactured goods. The committee has a long history of studying the impact of the Panama Canal expansion and international trade with Mexico, Canada and China on Southern state economies.

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Auto: The Resilient South

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Update on Competition in the Telecommunications Industry

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International Trade and Agriculture