Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation on Monday which will sunset the wind industry tax credits effective July 1, 2017.
House Bill 2298, authored by Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz passed on the Senate floor by a vote of 40-3 last Monday. The controversial bill rose to debate as Democrats argued a quick demise of the tax credit would send a bad message to other businesses looking to invest in Oklahoma.
“With the support of the zero-emissions tax credit, our state has become a national leader in wind energy,” said Governor Fallin. “The zero-emissions tax credit was key to the growth of wind energy in Oklahoma, and I’m grateful to the industry for their ambitious successes, as well as their willingness to work with the state to address our challenging budgetary circumstances.”
“Because of this credit, and other tax incentives, wind energy has grown into a major success story in Oklahoma, but the cost to the state has grown exponentially with that success,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, after Governor Fallin signed HB 2298 into law. “We need structural budget reform in Oklahoma, and one way we can get closer to that goal is to end tax credits that are simply unaffordable in our current revenue climate. House Bill 2298 will save Oklahoma taxpayers up to $500 million over the next 10 years, which can be redirected to other core priorities such as education and public safety. We would not be here today without the help of many wind development companies who recognized this credit is unsustainable and were willing to work with us on this legislation.”
Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for total installed wind capacity.