State Senators file legislation aimed at ending tax credits for the wind industry
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Two Oklahoma State Senators have filed legislation aimed at ending tax credits for the wind industry that they say will save the state millions of dollars.
State Senators Josh Brecheen and Nathan Dahm say that SB888 and SB6xx would stop an annual $70 million payout to wind energy companies. The bills only require a 51 percent vote to pass because they would not be considered revenue raising measures. The legislators say the money could then be used to fund education and other state agencies.
“This $70 million annual corporate welfare payment must end,” Brecheen said. “It’s time for the voice of the taxpayer to overshadow the voices of the 50 foreign and out-of-state paid lobbyists. Big Wind executives in Italy and Spain aren't concerned about our taxpayers subsidizing them nor are they concerned about our students, teachers, hospitals, nursing homes, law enforcement agencies and other important state services.”
Over 10 years, the state will pay $500 to $750 million in credits. The senators say that approximately 93 percent of that money goes to foreign and out-of-state shareholders.
“Oklahoma taxpayers have been asked to shoulder a larger tax burden to pay our teachers and fund our schools – but the wind industry is fighting to keep its sweetheart deals and taxpayer handouts in addition to receiving a federal tax credit, property tax exemptions, and more.” Dahm said. “We should not be taking money out of the wallets of every Oklahoman by raising their taxes while continuing to cut a check for $70 million to the wind industry every year.”