Gov. Dave Heineman says he hasn’t decided, yet, whether to sign a bill that would provide a tax break for a wind energy farm proposed for northeastern Nebraska.
Heineman tells reporters he faces a difficult decision on whether to sign or veto LB 104.
“And I object to this special tax break for a Kansas company when the legislature didn’t provide new, significant tax relief or tax reform for Nebraskans.”
Under provisions of LB 104, Trade Winds of Lenexa, Kansas will receive $16 million in tax breaks to build a $300-to-400 million wind farm in northeast Nebraska’s Dixon County. The farm would be capable of generating 200 megawatts of electricity which would be exported to other states.
The Unicameral approved LB 104 38-2 with eight senators not voting.
The wind farm planned for the northeast part of the state would create up to 300 construction jobs with 20-to-25 permanent jobs. It is a 40-year project expected to pay $10,000 to $15,000 per tower to farmers in leases and between $700,000 and $800,000 in tax revenue for Dixon County.
Supporters contend Nebraska lags far behind other states in developing wind energy and that without LB 104, wind energy won’t develop here.
Heineman says he favored another wind energy bill, LB 402, which would have used community-based energy development projects.
Heineman doubts that.
“I still think wind energy is going to develop in Nebraska in part, because we have that wind corridor in the state,” Heineman says.
The governor likes one provision added to the bill by Sen. Ernie Chambers. It would repeal the local option sales tax for the city of Omaha.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]
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