The House A & B met within an hour after the floor session and had one bill. HB3711 was amended from the 'shell bill' previously filed. The Amendment dealt with tax credits to 'Zero Emission' energy producers. that's code-speak for the wind industry which has created the new wind farms in predominantly western Oklahoma.
For years they have cost the state millions each year in refundable tax credits. HB3711, as amended, cuts that credit in half (from 85% down to 42.5%).
The bill as amended passed the house on a 12-9 vote. Leadership provided the margin to get it passed.
Of all the revenue increases, this idea has the most popular support. Currently, the wind industry takes from Oklahoma but the jobs and other indirect benefit is so marginal. This appears to be truly a welfare payment from the consumers' income & sales tax, to the out-of-state wind industry.
Also amended is HB3710. It caps the fund for wind energy credits at $35 million per year. In previous years a much higher amount was paid out to corporations who produced wind energy in Oklahoma, and sold that energy mostly to other states. Those windmills are costing us money, but giving us essentially no benefit. Yet the lobbyists are keeping those millions coming from our sales tax and income tax.
Rep Jon Echols was quick to respond to social media inquiries. He said; "The two bills being heard are dealing with wind tax credits. One caps the wind tax credit at 35 million the other lowers refund ability from 85 cents to 42.5.".
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...