Article courtesy of www.thenewspaper.com
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Illinois Tax Man Hassles Biofuel Motorist
The Illinois Department of Revenue insists David Wetzel, 79, and his wife Eileen must pay $2500 for the right to drive a 1986 Volkswagen Golf using biofuel. Bureau of Criminal Investigations unit agents Gary May and John Egan showed up at the Wetzel home on January 4 to threaten the couple with felony charges that carry up to five years in imprisonment. "I was afraid," Eileen Wetzel told the Herald and Review newspaper. "I came out of the bathroom. I thought: Good God, we paid our taxes. The check didn't bounce." The couple had committed the crime of picking up waste vegetable oil from a restaurant and using it to power their four-door hatchback. The revenue officials claimed the couple would have to apply for a fuel supplier license, designed for large businesses, and post a $2500 bond to avoid prison. They had failed to pay any gasoline tax on the restaurant byproduct. Over five years, the couple had used 1135 gallons of vegetable oil worth $244.24 in taxes if paid at the 21.5 cent diesel fuel rate. Last week, the Illinois state Senate Revenue Committee unanimously voted to amend state law to allow motorists to use restaurant byproducts for personal, non-commercial use. The full state Senate and House must approve the measure before it could become law.
Source: State makes big fuss over local couples vegetable oil car fuel (Decatur Herald and Review (IL), 3/1/2007)