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Schweitzer vetoes three bills, including one to provide capital gains tax credits

Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Friday vetoed three bills - one to provide a capital-gains tax credits as an incentive for businesses and two bills to deal with renewable energy.

HELENA - Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Friday vetoed three bills - one to provide a capital-gains tax credits as an incentive for businesses and two bills to deal with renewable energy.

Vetoed were:

Senate Bill 503, by Sen. Jeff Essmann, which would have created capital gains credits to business owners as a stimulus for economic development.

SB257, By Sen. Jim Keane, D-Butte, which would have changed the definition of renewable power to include additional power from grading existing hydroelectric dams.

SB403, by Sen. Kelly Gebhardt, R-Roundup, which would have changed how NorthWestern Energy could have applied certain power purchases from small projects to meet quotas for renewable power in law.

House Bill 678

Schweitzer also signed into law House Bill 678, by Rep. JP Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman, to revise gravel pit law, despite one major reservation.

The governor said he seriously objected to provisions in the bill that appear to restrict the public's right to receive notice and participate in the permitting process for open-cut mines.

He ordered the state Department of Environmental Quality to implement HB678 "in a manner that, to the extent... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

HELENA - Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Friday vetoed three bills - one to provide a capital-gains tax credits as an incentive for businesses and two bills to deal with renewable energy.

Vetoed were:

Senate Bill 503, by Sen. Jeff Essmann, which would have created capital gains credits to business owners as a stimulus for economic development.

SB257, By Sen. Jim Keane, D-Butte, which would have changed the definition of renewable power to include additional power from grading existing hydroelectric dams.

SB403, by Sen. Kelly Gebhardt, R-Roundup, which would have changed how NorthWestern Energy could have applied certain power purchases from small projects to meet quotas for renewable power in law.

House Bill 678

Schweitzer also signed into law House Bill 678, by Rep. JP Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman, to revise gravel pit law, despite one major reservation.

The governor said he seriously objected to provisions in the bill that appear to restrict the public's right to receive notice and participate in the permitting process for open-cut mines.

He ordered the state Department of Environmental Quality to implement HB678 "in a manner that, to the extent authorized by law, treats the public notice and public participation requirements of the bill as floors, not ceilings."

Essmann's bill, titled the Montana Economic Stimulus Act, would have created some capital-gains tax credits, which are dollar-for-dollar reductions in tax liability, for business owners and those who set up businesses here to help spur economic development.

Vetoed by Schweitzer

Schweitzer said the bill violates the guidelines he laid down at the start of the session to make sure the state budget is balanced, needed reserves were maintained and expenditures were balanced. He said SB503 failed to meet those objectives so he vetoed it.

"Ironically, people who have already made past investments without the credit would receive a windfall on their taxes of more than $300,000 per year, while new investment in Montana would not derive tax benefits until 2019," Schweitzer's veto message said. "This is not exactly a �shovel-ready' stimulus to Montana's economy.

Even looking ahead, Schweitzer called the prospective benefits from the bill bleak. He cited a study by Moody's Economy.com concluding that capital gains incentives yield only 38 cents of economic benefit for every dollar spent.

"Despite its fetching title, I do not believe SB503 would create real economic stimulus for Montana nor do I represent it represents good policy," Schweitzer said.

In his veto of Keane's SB250, Schweitzer called it a commendable goal on its face to upgrade hydro dams because it would produce clean energy and jobs.

"However, facts claimed by the proponents to support the bill do not bear up under examination," he said. "Because I believe SB257 would subvert Montana's Renewable Portfolio Standard, actually discouraging the development of new renewable energy projects, I have chosen to veto the bill."

As for Gebhardt's SB403, Schweitzer said if it had been allowed to become law, the measure would "undermine the value of renewable energy generated in Montana, lower Montana's renewable portfolio standard, risk a determination that Montana's RECs (renewable energy credits) do not comply with regional standards and could result in litigation."

Schweitzer said he vetoed SB403 because it "does not move construction of new renewable energy forward in Montana."


Source: http://billingsgazette.com/...

MAY 10 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20215-schweitzer-vetoes-three-bills-including-one-to-provide-capital-gains-tax-credits
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