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Wyoming House rejects wind tax bill  

Credit:  By JEREMY PELZER Star-Tribune capital bureau, trib.com 8 February 2011 ~~

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming House blew away legislation today that would have changed the way the state’s wind energy industry is taxed – and the way the tax revenue would be distributed.

By a tie 29-29 vote, the House rejected House Bill 191, which would have combined the upcoming $1-per-megawatt-hour wind energy tax and the sales tax on wind energy equipment into a single $3-per-megawatt-hour excise tax.

It would also have changed the way that tax revenue would be distributed and create a $15 million impact assistance account to help local governments pay for infrastructure costs associated with wind energy projects.

Right now, existing wind farms would pay the $1-per-megawatt-hour excise tax when it takes effect in 2012. A sales tax exemption on renewable energy equipment is set to expire at the end of this year.

Supporters said the proposal, which was supported by most within the state’s nascent wind energy industry, would bring in slightly more revenue for state and local governments than the current tax system. At the same time, they said, the plan would also encourage growth in Wyoming’s wind energy industry.

Opponents, though, voiced concern about allowing an industry with an uncertain future to pay taxes over a number of years instead of up front.

State Reps. Bryan Pedersen, R-Cheyenne, and Lisa Shepperson, R-Casper, were excused from voting.

It was unclear immediately after the vote whether there would be any attempt to hold a reconsideration vote on the bill.

Read more about this story in Wednesday’s Star-Tribune.

Source:  By JEREMY PELZER Star-Tribune capital bureau, trib.com 8 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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