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Senate passes tax credit over GOP objections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Consumers who purchase wind turbines to provide electricity for their homes would get a tax break under a bill approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma Senate. Under the bill, consumers could get a 40 percent tax credit on the cost of a wind turbine. Critics said it was not economically feasible for most homeowners since the average cost of a wind turbine for home use is about $50,000. Some objected to the bill because it also gives the same tax credit to solar energy devices. Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, called the bill "irresponsible."

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Consumers who purchase wind turbines to provide electricity for their homes would get a tax break under a bill approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma Senate.

Under the bill, consumers could get a 40 percent tax credit on the cost of a wind turbine.

Critics said it was not economically feasible for most homeowners since the average cost of a wind turbine for home use is about $50,000. Some objected to the bill because it also gives the same tax credit to solar energy devices.

Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, called the bill "irresponsible."

Sens. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, said the Legislature has given so many tax credits it is hampering the ability of lawmakers to further reduce the income tax.

Jolley questioned the economics of reducing the cost of energy to homes by 20 percent to 30 percent, saying it had been estimated that planting three acres of trees would have just as much beneficial effect on the environment.

"If we're going to do something, plant a tree" instead of reducing the tax base, he said.

Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, and others argued, however, that it makes sense to give tax credits to promote energy... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Consumers who purchase wind turbines to provide electricity for their homes would get a tax break under a bill approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma Senate.

Under the bill, consumers could get a 40 percent tax credit on the cost of a wind turbine.

Critics said it was not economically feasible for most homeowners since the average cost of a wind turbine for home use is about $50,000. Some objected to the bill because it also gives the same tax credit to solar energy devices.

Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, called the bill "irresponsible."

Sens. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, said the Legislature has given so many tax credits it is hampering the ability of lawmakers to further reduce the income tax.

Jolley questioned the economics of reducing the cost of energy to homes by 20 percent to 30 percent, saying it had been estimated that planting three acres of trees would have just as much beneficial effect on the environment.

"If we're going to do something, plant a tree" instead of reducing the tax base, he said.

Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, and others argued, however, that it makes sense to give tax credits to promote energy programs that are good for the environment as alternatives to dwindling fossil fuels.

By giving the tax credit, Wilson said, it is hoped the cost of wind turbines will eventually be reduced as more consumers purchase them.

The bill now returns to the House and is likely to wind up in a joint conference committee.

"We're pleased that it passed the Senate and will now go to conference, where conferees will have a chance to address the concerns of the senators who voted against the bill," said Mike Bergey, president of the Norman-based Bergey Windpower Co., the world's largest manufacturer of small wind turbines."

The Senate on Tuesday also approved tax incentives for bio-fuels, for attracting aerospace engineers to the state and for the construction of a hotel in Oklahoma's Adventure District, which includes the Remington Park Horse Race Track and casino, the Oklahoma City Zoo and the Softball Hall of Fame.

Mazzei is Senate sponsor of the bill proposing income tax credits for aerospace engineers. He said it meets his criteria that tax incentives yield immediate economic benefits to the state.

He said aerospace engineers coming to Oklahoma would exceed the state's per capita salary, offsetting losses from the tax credit.



Source: http://www.cushingdaily.com...

APR 19 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/8401-senate-passes-tax-credit-over-gop-objections
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