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Bill Would Give Tribes Renewable Energy Tax Credits

PHOTO: Native American tribes could gain new tax incentives for renewable energy projects if Congress approves a bill Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico introduced this week. Photo courtesy Brookhaven National Laboratory.
PHOTO: Native American tribes could gain new tax incentives for renewable energy projects if Congress approves a bill Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico introduced this week. Photo courtesy Brookhaven National Laboratory.
July 14, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico is sponsoring legislation to amend the federal tax code to give Native American tribes – some of which are also known as Pueblo in New Mexico – tax credits for renewable energy projects.

Heinrich says the Tribal Tax Incentive for Renewable Energy Act would make tribes eligible for tax credits already available to non-tribal businesses.

"It would allow tribal governments to take advantage of the existing 30 percent tax credit in the same way any private developer already can," he says.

Heinrich says the legislation would level the playing field for tribes, allowing them to offer the same economic incentives to companies that operate solar farms, wind farms and other clean-energy projects.

According to Heinrich, an increasing number of Pueblos and tribes in New Mexico and elsewhere are interested in renewable energy, in part because the economic growth it can generate for a community is "huge."

"Renewable energy provides 625,000 jobs nationwide," he says. "Nearly 47,000 of those jobs were added in 2014 alone."

Heinrich adds there are Pueblo in New Mexico that already have renewable energy projects in place, and are reducing their energy costs by as much as 75 percent.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM