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Energy Tax Credits Return, But With New Restrictions

Energy businesses looking for tax credits from the state can start applying Monday. But because of questionable practices in the past, the legislature has placed a $300 million cap on the program.

Because of alleged abuses, the state now plans to put financial details online about how the Business Energy Tax Credit, or BETC, is being used. 

Jon Bartholomew of the Oregon State Public Interest Research Project says the $300 million cap and other changes should also help stop abuses.

He applauds the state’s decision to make more information public, but says that needs to happen soon.

Jon Bartholomew: “To date there has been no information on any website about who is receiving the benefit of these tax credits. What they’ve done in return for their tax credit and this can be millions and millions of dollars at a time.”

Some  tax credit details are public, but Bartholomew says they can be time consuming and expensive to secure.

Diana Enright, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Energy says financial details of the credit should be online by the end of the month.

An investigation by The Oregonian newspaper into the BETC raised questions about whether the tax credit was truly encouraging the growth of sustainable energy companies in Oregon.