In Governor Strickland's State of State last month, he proposed a new tax benefit for wind developers looking to site in Ohio. The proposal would make Ohio's tax structure competitive with surrounding states. A change in the property tax paid by wind developers requires a change in law by the state legislature. A corresponding piece of legislation, Senate Bill 232 has been introduced in the Ohio Senate. That bill, along with other bills of interest to the advanced and sustainable energy community, are discussed below:

Ohio Senate Bill 232

Exempts Certain Certified Renewable Energy Projects from Tangible Personal Property Taxes

Proposed Senate Bill 232 (Sponsored by Senator Chris Widener, R-Springfield) proposes that an "Exempt energy air quality facility" be exempt from real and tangible personal property taxes if that facility is certified by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority. In addition, the facility must make service payments in lieu of taxes to the local taxing authority. These payments will be either $5000.00 or $6000.00 dollars per megawatt depending upon the ownership structure of each facility. In addition, exempt facilities must make certain provisions to the community for maintaining roads and supporting local safety forces. The bill will place rates in the middle of other Midwestern states' rates with Illinois at approximately $8,000.00 per megawatt and Pennsylvania at approximately $2000.00 per megawatt.

Ohio Senate Bill 223 Would Expand List of Qualifying "Special Energy Improvement Projects"

The PACE and SIDs programs authorized by HB 1 and SB 223 could represent a significant advantage for Ohioans seeking to expand their alternative energy options.

Ohio Bill 443

Proposes Creation of Energy Efficiency Advisory Group

Ohio House Bill 443 would create a so-called Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group to review proposed energy efficiency and peak-demand reduction programs of utility companies.

Update on Current Legislation

Ohio House Bill 7.

The bill requires all new buildings constructed using state capital budget money (including educational facilities trust fund) to meet green building standards as defined by the bill. House Bill 7 received sponsor testimony in the Ohio Senate and is awaiting further hearings.

Ohio House Bill 113

Representative Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) introduced House Bill 113 which promotes advanced energy projects at Ohio's primary and secondary schools. The bill passed the House of Representatives last month. On February 2, the Senate had a first hearing on the bill and it awaits further hearings in the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.

Ohio S.B. 221 of 2008

Sets 22 Percent Cumulative Energy Reduction Standards by 2025

Ohio Senate Bill 221, enacted in 2008, and aimed at encouraging Ohio businesses and utilities to adopt renewable and advanced energy technologies, also includes new energy reduction and peak demand standards that utilities must meet through energy efficiency programs.