Wind Provides Golden Opportunity for Nebraska

Innovative legislation has been introduced in Nebraska by Senator Galen Hadley of Kearney to ensure that rural communities reap lasting benefits from development of wind energy in our state.
LB 432 provides a tax credit for wind farms that set aside stock for their employees or for a Job and Rural Trust Fund.  The credit would reduce the sales tax on wind turbines producing electricity exported out of Nebraska.

The Job and Rural Trust Fund, as envisioned in the bill, would support critical economic and community development initiatives.  Wind development projects that donate stock or other interests to the trust, would get an offsetting reduction in sales taxes.

The incentive for employee stock ownership would ensure that more rural people share in the wealth created by renewable energy development.  The pride and commitment that come with ownership make a difference.

The lion’s share of the fund would be used for incentives to help start or grow local businesses to supply wind farms, creating jobs and local wealth in the wind supply chain. But the Fund would also help support the state’s rural development programs by expanding the investment tax credit for microenterprise and providing grants for community and economic development.  

The wind resources of the Great Plains make us the Saudi Arabia of wind, creating a golden opportunity for Nebraska.  But it is up to us to use it wisely.  Senator Hadley’s LB 432 [] does just that and is worthy of our support.

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