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Turbine-Siting Bill Heads To Governor, Lawmakers And Wind Industry Near Deal On Tax Incentives

The Blue Canyon wind farm near Carnegie, Okla.
Joe Wertz
The Blue Canyon wind farm near Carnegie, Okla.

State legislators and wind industry representatives are close to a deal that would end two tax incentives and preserve a third, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports:

Under the tentative agreement, a five-year property tax exemption for new wind farms would end after 2016, but a zero-emissions tax credit would remain in place. Another incentive that isn’t used much by wind developers, the investment tax credit, would end Jan. 1, 2017.

The changes would come through provisions in Senate Bills 498 and 502, which were approved last week by the House appropriations and budget committee, The Oklahoman reports:

Wind industry representatives cautioned the bills still have a couple more steps, but said they remain hopeful that the agreement holds up. The ending date for the property tax exemption in SB 498 remains a sticking point, said Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville. Sears said he preferred an end date of Jan. 1, 2016, but the bill was successfully amended in committee to end the exemption on Dec. 31, 2016. He voted against the amendment, but for the bill. SB 498 passed the committee 22-0 and now heads to the full House.

The Oklahoma Property Rights Association praised efforts to reduce wind energy tax credits, but said the “bills didn’t go far enough to help address budget shortfalls.”

“We are not anti-wind; we are against loading up the state budget with giveaways,” said Rick Mosier, who formed the association with Claremore banker and real estate developer Frank Robson. “These wind tax credits are just an example of one that is out of control. At this point, the Legislature acknowledges there’s a problem.”

Another bill, SB 808, which adds new wind farm regulations such as siting requirements, passed the Senate on April 9 and was sent to Gov. Mary Fallin, the paper reports.


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