Natural Resources

Wind energy tax credit expanded

Senators passed a bill March 27 that allows more wind projects to qualify for a wind energy sales tax exemption.

Currently, private wind energy projects can qualify for a sales tax exemption on the equipment and supplies used in construction if at least 33 percent of the revenue from the project for the first 20 years is directed back to Nebraska residents or companies.

LB402, introduced by Omaha Sen. Heath Mello, defines a qualifying community-based energy development project as a new wind energy generation project using a wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas or low-emission fuel source that reduces the overall carbon emissions of the generation system.

The bill amends the current statute by:
• expanding the definition of “payments to the local community” to include payments for products manufactured in Nebraska or by Nebraska companies and services provided by Nebraska companies as well as lease and easement payments to property owners;
• reducing the qualifying percentage threshold from 33 percent to 25 percent; and
• loosening corporate restrictions by allowing corporations domiciled in Nebraska to meet the definition of “qualified owner.”

Senators passed the bill on a 43-0 vote.

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