NEFI Forms Task Force to Examine Tax Reform Proposals

The New England Fuel Institute (NEFI) recently announced the creation of a new Task Force to monitor and discuss federal tax reform proposals of interest to the home heating industry and make recommendations to the NEFI Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

President Trump identified comprehensive tax reform as a top priority during his first Congressional Address last month. The White House promised to outline specific proposals in the coming weeks. The House of Representatives will likely be the first to act on tax reform legislation later this year.

The NEFI Tax Reform Task Force was created by NEFI Chairman Mike Estes of Estes Oil & Propane (York, Maine) at the recommendation of the Government Affairs Committee, led by Scott MacFarlane of MacFarlane Energy (Dedham, Mass.). They tapped former NEFI Chairman Jim Townsend of Townsend Energy (Danvers, Mass.) to lead the group.

“Anyone that has met Jim Townsend understands why he’s the right guy for this job,” Estes said. “Not only is he a respected heating oil and propane marketer, but as former Chairman of NEFI and a key player in the legislative effort that created NORA, Jim brings an understanding of the complexities of Washington politics and how the gears move on Capitol Hill.”

In addition to Townsend, Estes and MacFarlane, Task Force members include NEFI Treasurer Peter Aziz of Bantam Home Energy (Bantam, Conn.), James Walsh of Irving Oil (New Brunswick, Canada), Tom Santa of Santa Energy (Bridgeport, Conn.), Ray Hart of Hart Home Comfort (Oakdale, New York), Jeff Foley and Kelly Berardi of Gray Gray & Gray (Canton, Mass.) and former NEFI Chairman of the Board Sean Cota.

“Creation of this Task Force is consistent with NEFI’s long-standing mission to protect the interests of fuel marketers in New England and throughout the country,” Townsend said. “Its membership brings a strong expertise on the tax code and how various legislative proposals’ changes might affect our industry.”

The group held an organizational call earlier last month and briefly discussed some key tax reform proposals, including the proposed “border adjustment tax” that some experts warn could increase fuel prices by 20 to 30 cents-per-gallon. The group hopes to meet on a biweekly basis (every two weeks) as tax reform moves through the legislative process.

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