PIERRE – Normally, the Legislature lets its Executive Board decide the topics for special studies. But tax incentives for the wind-energy industry might get different treatment.
Sen. Bob Gray, R-Pierre, proposes the creation in state law of what he’s titled the Wind Energy Competitive Task Force.
He is the Senate president pro tem. His co-sponsors on SB 194 include House Speaker Val Rausch, R-Big Stone City, and five other key Republican legislators.
The Senate State Affairs Committee endorsed Gray’s plan Wednesday on a 8-0 vote. He told committee members the task force could examine what other states are doing and come back with a comprehensive proposal for the 2012 legislative session.
Wind energy lobbyists testified in favor. No one spoke against. The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
A state tax-rebate program for large business and agriprocessing projects has benefited some wind farms with millions of dollars in construction-tax refunds. That program is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2012.
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