Tuesday’s Ohio Senate Vote Brings Competitive Wind Power Tax Closer to Reality

Tuesday’s Ohio Senate victory establishing a flat per megawatt tax on wind power and solar development must be quickly followed by successful passage of similar House legislation and a final reconciled bill on Gov. Strickland’s desk before summer recess, according to the grassroots coalition Wind and Solar Jobs for Ohio.

Media Briefing Scheduled for Wednesday, May 19th at 10:30 a.m.

Senator Chris Widener (R-Springfield) will be hosting a press briefing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in his office on Senate Bill 232 bi-partisan victory, and the needed House passage for Ohio’s renewable energy tax reform.

Tuesday’s 28-4 vote approving Ohio Senate Bill 232 is an important step in the right direction for Ohio’s wind energy future, but not the final one, said SB 232 sponsor Sen. Chris Widener (R-Springfield).

"It is imperative that the Ohio Legislature keeps up the momentum to ensure a competitive tax environment for Ohio wind and solar development before summer," said Brad Lystra, manager, economic development partnerships for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

"SB 232, and a similar bill in the house, HB 464, jointly sponsored by Rep. Roland Winburn (D-Dayton) and Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Athens), are critical to bringing Ohio’s tax on wind and solar development in line with surrounding states as developers finalize decisions on which projects to prioritize nationwide to leverage federal stimulus funding expiring in 2012," said Lystra.

Under SB 232’s $7,000 per MW tax, local communities teed up to host Ohio’s seven wind farms under current development will receive a total of $7.3 million in annual tax revenues, with farmers receiving annual lease payments totaling $9.3 million. By ensuring a competitive environment for development, the legislature can also secure nearly 1,000 immediate construction and operations jobs, and support Ohio’s wind manufacturing base, the fifth-largest in the country.

"I am confident the members of the Ohio Legislature can work together to do right for the state," Lystra said. "By eliminating this tax disadvantage, Ohio lawmakers will secure millions for local communities, farmer landowners and bring renewable energy ‘green’ construction and manufacturing jobs to Ohio."

Wind and Solar Jobs for Ohio is a coalition of businesses and organizations that support the adoption of a competitive tax structure for wind farm and solar projects in Ohio. The Coalition seeks to demonstrate that an adjustment to Ohio’s personal property tax would encourage billions of dollars worth of investments in renewable energy.