Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo voted with the 19-5 Senate Finance Committee majority on a $205 billion package of tax breaks that included a production tax credit for wind energy.
The $12 billion wind tax break, which the industry said was critical to its survival, has many conservative critics nationally and in Idaho. But it has many supporters, especially in farm state where it has brought welcome income to farmer suffering from a drought.
It had been pulled from the bill, which also corrects for a year the alternative tax hit on many Americans. That was the main reason Crapo supported the bill said his communication director Lindsay Nothern.
But the wind credit was added back into the legislation Thursday.
The production tax credit cuts 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. And while it has contributed to the growth of wind power in Idaho in the last seven years the sunseting of a state sales tax rebate and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission action to reassess a program that requires utilities to buy power from renewable developers has all but shut down new wind projects in the state.