Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2021

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Much-needed tax breaks

After dragging its feet, Gibbons administration will help renewable energy developers

After the Las Vegas Sun reported last week on complaints from legislators and potential renewable energy developers that were directed at Gov. Jim Gibbons, we commented Sunday on the slow pace his administration has maintained in pursuit of solar, wind and geothermal resources.

The Sun’s David McGrath Schwartz followed up Wednesday with a story quoting newly appointed state energy commissioner Hatice Gecol as saying that backers of green energy projects will be able to apply for tax abatements sooner than originally anticipated.

It’s about time!

The Nevada Legislature in May voted to extend tax breaks for renewable energy projects. We share the concern expressed by state Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, who told the Sun he could not understand why the governor’s office didn’t know how to implement the tax incentives soon after they were approved.

Gibbons and his team obviously do not comprehend the need to act urgently on renewable energy development. This has become a highly competitive industry among states seeking to lure competent entrepreneurs to produce the energy of the future.

It is also puzzling that the governor did not take swift action to implement the property and sales tax breaks, given that the only issue he stands for is no new taxes. One would think a politician with such a narrow-minded focus would at least jump at any opportunity to give businesses tax abatements.

When it comes to renewable energy, though, Gibbons has shown that he needs to be pushed to act. If he had applied as much energy to the development of renewable resources as he has to his “no new taxes” pledge, Nevada by now would have been a national leader in the construction of solar, wind and geothermal power plants.

Now that the state has decided to accelerate the application process for tax breaks, the Gibbons administration should do whatever else it can to convince entrepreneurs that Nevada is the best place to build renewable energy power plants.

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