Florida Ag Commissioner Pleased with Energy Law

Cindy Zimmerman

adam putnamFlorida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is pleased with the new energy bill for the state that was allowed to become law last week when Governor Rick Scott declined to either sign or veto it.

“Rooted in common sense, this bill was developed to expand energy production in Florida and create much-needed jobs for Floridians. It garnered bipartisan support from an overwhelming 156 members of the Florida Legislature,” Putnam said in a statement. “The bill offers technology-agnostic tax credits to businesses that demonstrate investment in energy production and create jobs in Florida. Any form of renewable energy is eligible; the market will determine how investments are made.”

Governor Scott was pressured by conservative interests to veto the bill because of tax breaks included for renewable energy production, but allowed the bill to become law without his signature in “deference” to Putnam’s support for the credits, at the same time warning that he would analyze the results of the tax incentives and could push for a future repeal.

Putnam’s office issued an independent economic analysis of the Energy Bill that found the law would “generate $143.5 million in new tax revenue and create more than 3,000 jobs for Floridians.”

“The combination of these incentives are projected to generate an annual average of $28.7 million in new tax revenue over the fiscal year 2012-2016 and support as many as 3,350 new jobs in all sectors of the Florida economy by 2017,” said study author John Urbanchuk, Technical Director – Environmental Economics of Cardno ENTRIX.

The bill, which will take effect July 1, includes a sales tax exemption for biofuels distribution equipment, including ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels with $1 million per fiscal tax year cap; an investment tax credit against the corporate income tax for renewable energy technologies; and a provision to permit algae as a feedstock for renewable fuels.

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