5 Green Policy Mistakes in 2009

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Dr. Eric Fruits,
Econinternational Blog

The Oregonian reports that Oregon state officials deliberately underestimated the cost the governor’s tax credit scheme to attract  “green” companies and to encourage “green” projects.  The Business Energy Tax Credits (BETC) are huge give-aways: Enterprises that don’t pay taxes (like nonprofits and government entities) can sell the credits to tax-paying companies to reduce their tax bills. The only way to get the legislature to extend the credits was to fudge the estimated costs of the program.

However, the state officials made a big batch of fudge: The tax credit program program that cost 40 times more than unsuspecting lawmakers were told it would cost. None of this is news.  Throughout the year, this blog has been reporting on BETC’s budget busting and number fudging.

Here are four more mistakes:

Oregon’s incredible expanding energy tax breaks
: First reported earlier low-balling of the costs of the BETC program.

BETC: Do Oregon’s energy tax credits help or hurt the economy? Reported that earlier reports of low-balling were too low.  Highlighted a consultant’s offer to hide the fact that some of the BETC spending actually lowered employment in the state.

Oregon’s large and growing “green” tax credits are busting the state budget: Reported that BETC credits reduce state corporate tax revenues by 22 percent.

Portland’s bus pass giveaway will cost the State of Oregon as much as $3.64 million: Highlighted the use of the BETC by non-taxpaying entities.  In this case the City of Portland is giving away bus passes to high school students, paid for with the tax credits.

Read more: http://www.econinternational.com/blog/2009/11/02/oregon-officials-get-caught-fudging-the-costs-of-energy-tax-credits/#ixzz0VqblTxTM