Wind energy incentive, sales tax limitation passed

Senators passed a bill May 29 to incentivize companies that create sources of renewable energy to locate in Nebraska.

LB104, introduced by Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop, expands the definition of qualified business to include renewable energy producers in the existing incentive tiers. It defines sources of renewable energy to include wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and transmutation of elements.

Prospective wind energy developers will be required to invest a minimum of $20 million in qualified property.

The bill also incorporates provisions related to LB266, introduced by Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, which reduce from 2 percent to 1.5 percent the maximum local option sales tax a city of the metropolitan class may levy. Any revenue resulting from an increase in a metropolitan class city can be used only for public purposes.

Currently, Omaha is the only metropolitan class city in the state.

The bill passed on a 38-2 vote.

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