Energy tax credits lose steam

The governor and other lawmakers want to reign in the costly Business Energy Tax Credit.

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Once an advocate for providing tax incentives to boost green-energy projects in Oregon, Gov. Kulongoski now says the costly Business Energy Tax Credit has “run its course.”

The governor and other lawmakers are seeking to scale back the credits, which have far exceeded initial cost expectations.

[Kulongoski’s] comments came shortly after state officials released a revised price tag of the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, which has grown at a brisk pace: $235 million for the current two-year budget cycle, growing to an estimated $374 million for 2011-13.

Those numbers are far higher than estimates from a year ago and have prompted a top-to-bottom review of the incentives. Legislators say the subsidies sap money from public schools and other state services.

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