As Oklahoma lawmakers potentially head back into special session to resolve the state’s budget crisis, it’s time to demand that industrial wind contribute!
Oklahoma could potentially generate more than $120 million annually through a simple majority vote of the legislature to change two wind subsidy programs.
Did you know industrial wind companies don’t pay sales taxes? An estimated $20 million annually, according to Oklahoma Tax Commission figures, could be collected in sales tax revenue if this exemption was repealed.
Another $100 million annually could be saved if the Legislature instituted an annual cap on what Oklahomans pay for yet-to-be earned Zero Emission Tax subsidies. Although any new projects no longer qualify for the credit, taxpayers are still required to pay subsidies for 10 years from first commercial operation on wind generation facilities that commenced operations before July 1, 2017. Year-to-date electricity production from wind for 2017 suggests that we will pay more than $112 million in tax credits for the 2017 tax year. If we implemented a $12.5 million cap — the amount established for economically at-risk oil and gas wells — we could generate $100 million in savings. Without a cap, the total over the next 10 years will exceed $930 million.
We pay out millions to industrial wind every year! We can continue to write blanks checks to an industry that makes billion-dollar profits, or we can mandate they contribute in the same manner as every other member of our energy sector.