Energy tax breaks balloon; where will the money come from?

Oregon’s tax breaks for alternative energy are projected to cost significantly more than previous subsidies.

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While state tax breaks given out in 2007-2009 cost $68 million, subsidies in 2009-2011 are projected to cost $167 million, a sign of the significant interest in the Business Energy Tax Credit. But how will the state pay for them?

“What this does is create a real dilemma,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland. The state’s two-year budget, approved last June, will now come up short by as much as $50 million.

“The money will have to come from somewhere,” Burdick said, “and the only places it can come from is education, public safety and human services. I don’t think it’s acceptable to subsidize wind farms at the expense of education.

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