Hawaii lawmakers may decrease solar tax credits
By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER
HONOLULU —- The solar industry has been booming in Hawaii, but state officials worry the industry’s tax credits are draining state coffers.
Representatives in the House committee on the environment voted Wednesday to gradually decrease the solar energy tax credit to 15 percent by 2018.
They cast aside the governor’s more drastic proposal to cut the current tax credit to 15 percent by next year. The credit is currently 35 percent of the cost of each solar energy system.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the current credit is fiscally unsustainable.
But many environmental groups and solar companies say a sharp cut would cripple the renewable energy industry. Several support a gradual decrease.
Rep. Chris Lee, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, says the proposal approved Wednesday pulls from the best aspects of the different bills proposed.
He says he’s working closely with the Senate to come up with a compromise proposal that won’t get mired in politics.
Senators are expected to make a decision on the same issue next week.
Sen. Mike Gabbard, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, says the panel is planning to hear testimony today about one more renewable energy proposal. The committee met Tuesday to hear testimony on three related bills, including the governor’s plan.
But Gabbard told The Associated Press that a gradual approach to decreasing tax credits makes the most sense.
He added he wasn’t surprised that the House rejected the governor’s proposal given the level of opposition by the solar industry.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.