Monday, May 24, 2010

Gibbs Wins Support for Amendment That Would Encourage Clean Coal and Advanced Energy Projects to Locate in Ohio and Create Jobs

COLUMBUS— State Senator and Congressional Candidate for the 18th district Bob Gibbs (R- Lakeville) recently announced that an amendment he sponsored that would extend the window for clean coal and advanced energy projects to take advantage of an exemption to the tangible personal property tax was recently approved by the Ohio Senate. Gibbs offered the amendment as a part of Senate Bill 232, which seeks to make Ohio’s tax rates more competitive in order to make the state more attractive for renewable energy projects and the jobs they create.

“The window originally proposed in SB 232 did not provide enough time for clean coal and other advanced energy technology facilities to get off the ground and would severely limit our ability to attract these projects to Ohio,” Gibbs said. “My amendment simply extends the deadline to begin construction and operation of clean coal and advanced nuclear facilities in order to ensure these types of energy remain a viable option in our state.”

As part of the energy bill passed by the Legislature in 2008, standards were implemented that require 25 percent of Ohio’s electricity be generated from renewable and advanced energy sources by the year 2025. The bill also requires that one-half of the renewable energy standards be generated within Ohio. However, few facilities have been built in the state because of the vastly larger tax liability these projects currently face in Ohio as compared to other states.

SB 232 provides a window that would allow companies seeking to build renewable energy generation facilities in Ohio to pay an annual fee based on how much they generate, in lieu of tangible personal property taxes or real property taxes, thereby bringing tax rates for these kinds of projects in line with other states competing for the same projects. In order to be eligible for this provision, the facility must begin operations by January 1, 2013.

Ohio Coal Association President Mike Carey said “once again Bob Gibbs is standing up for the coal industry and making sure we are keeping jobs here in Ohio.”

Senator Gibbs explained that projects involving clean coal, advanced nuclear and cogeneration technologies would be unable to begin construction by that deadline, putting them at a disadvantage compared to projects involving solar and wind energy. His amendment extends the window for these types of projects to begin until 2017, creating a more even playing field for all sources of renewable and advanced energy.

SB 232 was recently approved by the Senate and now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.