Oklahoma lawmakers prepare to eliminate wind-power tax incentive

Apr 5, 2017

Bob Kerr on his ranch near Carnegie, Okla., which is flanked by turbines from the Blue Canyon Wind Farm.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature is gearing up to end the last remaining major wind-energy tax incentive in the state. And, as StateImpact reports, some in the wind industry are calling the move a betrayal.

These wind producers note that the yax break wasn’t supposed to end for another three years, and they insist that lawmakers are reneging on a deal. Critics say the move will discourage outside investment in Oklahoma, because it implies that lawmakers won’t keep their word.

But in a newspaper Op-Ed, former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating wrote that he regretted installing the tax incentive in the first place. Keating noted that the state is struggling and the wind incentive has resulted in a shortfall and didn’t bring jobs the way he thought it would.

“We desperately need more money in the classroom,” Keating said. And he expects the state to pay for education with some of the profits made by eliminating the wind-farm tax break.