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Tax Questions for Maryland Renewable Energy Projects

March 30, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The renewable energy industry in Maryland is watching state and federal legislation closely. An offshore wind proposal is stalled in the State Senate, and the federal renewable energy production tax credit is awaiting action in Washington, D.C. It's set to expire at the end of the year, and Clean Line Energy co-founder Jimmy Glotfelty says this is not the time to put a damper on the economic benefits of the renewable sector, especially wind.

"We're seeing huge amounts of economic development, huge amounts of manufacturing facilities, come over here to the United States. Upwards of 60 percent of all of the components are now produced here in the United States."

Glotfelty says the tax credit has seen strong bipartisan support - although with few pieces of legislation moving through Congress, there have been limited opportunities for a vote on the credit. The credit itself also has prompted some controversy, with calls to let it expire.

Without the credit, Glotfelty predicts China would quickly step in to replace lost manufacturing - and that means a loss of local jobs and county tax money. He's found the credit status limbo is already taking a toll.

"Companies would already be producing components for 2013, and those orders are not happening right now because people are waiting to see if the tax credit is going to be renewed or not."

Glotfelty stresses that any extension of the wind production tax credit would be temporary, because as the industry grows, the credit would no longer be needed.

The tax credit details are online at DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD