Incentives Watch: A Mason-Dixon Line for Renewable Energy Tax Credits?

The Civil War ended long ago. Confederate currency never caught on, but there are still a few things that are unique to the South: those accents, an abundance of Waffle Houses, and a lack of renewable energy incentives.

“Many southern states oppose renewable portfolio standards because they believe their renewable resources are insufficient,” according to the Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy’s working paper entitled Renewable Energy in the South: A Policy Brief. Renewable portfolio standards require utilities to use renewable energy as the source of a certain percentage of their electricity production and, therefore, is an impetus for using more renewable energy overall.

One Southern state, Arkansas, recently enacted an income tax exemption for qualified drop-in biofuels manufacturers for tax years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2013, reports an article in the Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report.

In order to receive the tax credit, the manufacturer must invest at least $20 million in a new or expanded drop-in biofuels facility in Arkansas, as well as create a minimum of 100 new jobs.

In addition, Maryland passed legislation that clarifies which plug-in electric drive vehicles are eligible for the state’s excise tax credit, notes a Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report article. The credit equals 100 percent of the excise tax imposed on the vehicle, up to a $2,000 maximum.

The number of plug-in electric vehicles sold in Maryland is increasing rapidly. According to the Motor Vehicle Administration, 657 plug-in electric vehicles were registered in the state during FY 2012 – up from 72 vehicles in FY 2011, the Maryland Department of Legislative Services reported.

For more information about the renewable energy tax credits available in all 50 states, check out Bloomberg BNA’s Green Incentives Navigator.

In other developments . . .

Maryland extended its film tax credit program for another two years and increased the amount of film credits that can be awarded per fiscal year, according to a Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Reportarticle.

By: Kathleen Caggiano

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