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Oregon Proposes Tax Credit Rollback For Biomass

File photo of a pile of woody debris, or slash, from a logging site in Oregon's Tillamook State Forest. A proposed change in the state revenue code would reduce tax incentives that rely on such debris to fuel their biomass energy facilities.
Marcus Kauffman
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File photo of a pile of woody debris, or slash, from a logging site in Oregon's Tillamook State Forest. A proposed change in the state revenue code would reduce tax incentives that rely on such debris to fuel their biomass energy facilities.

The Oregon Department of Energy is proposing a change that would reduce tax incentives for biomass facilities.

Matt Krumenauer, a senior policy analyst with the agency, said the tax program was intended to offset the costs of producing, collecting and transporting biomass.

“We’ve analyzed the program and found that those costs for animal manure are much less than similar production or collection costs for other types of biomass,” he said.

Krumenauer said the tax credit provides incentives that are sometimes 10-times higher for animal manure than for other types of biomass, such as wood.

He said the agency’s proposal would reduce the cost of the state’s tax credit program. It would also extend the program until 2021.

Last year, the state spent nearly $5 million on biomass tax credits. Biomass accounts for about 0.5 percent of the state’s electricity.

The Oregon Department of Energy is hoping the Legislature will take up the issue in a bill next year.

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Conrad Wilson is a reporter and producer covering criminal justice and legal affairs for OPB.