Get ready to say bye-bye to BETC
By Erik Siemers, Business Journal staff writer
Business Journal staff writer
Say goodbye to BETC.
Say hello to Manny, Gennie and Connie.
A trio of bills under proposal in Salem would replace Oregon’s controversial Business Energy Tax Credit — known as BETC — with a revamped program centered around its three primary components.
State Rep. Tobias Read, D-Beaverton, said that separating the parts — focused on manufacturing, power generation and energy conservation projects — would allow each to be considered on their merits.
In the spirit of the original program, which took on the easily accessible acronym-derived handle of "Betsy" over time, Read is hoping his new efforts follow suit.
So he's calling the manufacturing-specific bill “Manny,” the energy generation bill “Genny” and the energy conservation bill “Connie.”
“BETC (pronounced “Betsy”) stuck because it was a name,” Read said. “Hopefully Manny, Connie and Gennie will, too.”
But beyond the novelty of naming conventions, Read's bills — which were passed out of the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee on Monday — also incorporate some substantive policy changes.
The manufacturing tax credit program, Read said, would largely be unchanged.
But the tax credits focused on energy conservation and generation face the biggest changes.
The BETC as it's structured today provides tax credits valued at up to half the cost of a project. But Read wants to avoid having developers rely on the tax credit to make their projects work financially.
The new bills would change the equation, basing the tax credits instead on the amount of energy that would be saved or generated from the projects seeking approval.
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