Tax incentives for small scale renewable energy projects 012010 (audio)
By Jackelyn Severin
A bill giving tax breaks for small and community based renewable energy projects passed a legislative committee today. The Public Utilities Commission drafted the bill to spur growth in smaller wind and solar projects. The Senate State Affairs Committee approved the bill with a vote of 7 to 2.
Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson says South Dakota has made great strides in bringing big wind and large scale renewable projects to the state but now more needs to be done for small scale projects. He says Senate Bill 58 makes it easier for small energy entrepreneurs to apply for incentives that mimic what big wind projects currently recieve from South Dakota.
"This bill exempts the first 50 thousand dollars or 70 percent, whichever is greater, of a renewable project from paying property tax," says Johnson.
The tax break only applies to land and equipment used for the energy project. Johnson says this incentive will encourage investment in renewable projects and create jobs.
Opponents of the bill say this is a loss of revenue for the state and will hurt local governments and schools.
The bill now goes to the Senate floor.
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