Greater renewable energy tax credit proposed

The Revenue Committee heard testimony March 6 on a bill that would provide a new energy production tax credit.

A tax credit currently is in place for electricity generated by a new, renewable generation facility. The credit is awarded at $0.0005 per kilowatt-hour and is capped at $50,000 per year. LB411, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, would end the current tax credit and create a new, broader credit.

Nordquist said providing the credit would mean more “clean, homegrown energy.”

“Nebraska has exceptional wind resources, but we must compete against our neighbors for economic development opportunities,” he said. “This would give Nebraska a substantial advantage in bringing the renewable energy industry to the state.”

The bill would increase the amount of the credit to:
• $0.005 per kilowatt-hour for 2014;
• $0.015 per kilowatt-hour for 2015 to 2017;
• $0.075 per kilowatt-hour for 2017 to 2019; and
• $0.005 per kilowatt-hour for 2019 onward.

The annual tax credits would be capped at $2 million per taxpayer for up to eight years after the facility’s operative date.

Representing Edison Mission Energy, David Levy testified in support of the bill. He said LB411 would make Nebraska and Oklahoma the only two states in the nation to offer the incentive.

“With the [energy] federal production cut ending, we will have to deal with a sharp drop in development,” Levy said. “We already have the wind, great landowners and public power infrastructure in place. This would help put Nebraska at the top of the list.”

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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