Gov. Heineman Reacts to Advancement of Wind Energy Bill


      The Legislature's Revenue Committee has advanced a bill that would provide tax incentives for Nebraska wind farms, drawing the ire of Gov. Dave Heineman.

      The renewable energy bill, which would let certain renewable energy projects collect refunds on the sales taxes they pay, based on how much they invest and the level of ownership by Nebraska residents, moved out of the committee on Thursday with a 5-3 vote.

      After the vote, Heineman released a statement saying, "It is very disappointing thatthe Legislature's Revenue Committee has decided to provide out-of-state windenergy developers a tax break, but the Revenue Committee refuses to providemuch-needed tax relief to Nebraska families, Nebraska seniors, Nebraska veterans,and Nebraska small business owners."

      Heineman continued, "The Revenue Committee's priorities aremisguided. Instead of carving out an exemption for out-of-state specialinterests, the Legislature should be working to lower the taxes of Nebraskancitizens who continue to bear the burden for special interest tax breaks."

      The governor went on to commend the three committee members that voted against the measure: Sens. Tom Hansen of North Platte,Charlie Janssen of Fremont, and Beau McCoy of Omaha.

      Sens. Galen Hadley of Kearney, BurkeHarr of Omaha, Pete Pirsch of Omaha, Paul Schumacher of Columbus, and KateSullivan of Cedar Rapids voted in favor of advancing the measure.