The Oregon Department of Energy has filed new temporary administrative rules for the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program.
Following a directive from Gov. Ted Kulongoski, D-Ore., in August, the new rules involve changes to issues of multiple applications, project cost overruns, taxes owed to the state, enhanced accountability for jobs created and other topics. The new rules will affect all tax-credit applications that have not been issued a precertification letter on or after Nov. 3.
The rule changes are designed to eliminate the practice of multiple applications for the same or similar projects; establish new criteria for project eligibility; enhance the ability to revoke, suspend and/or condition applications; and establish new criteria for performance standards, the Oregon Department of Energy says.
A recent investigation by The Oregonian showed that state officials under-stated the cost of the BETC program when requesting that the legislature increase the subsidies, the newspaper reports, adding that credit distribution involved ‘little oversight or accountability.’ Subsidy costs have jumped from $10 million in 2007 to $167 million for 2009-2011.
The new BETC rules are effective for 180 days, ending May 1, 2010. A notice for permanent rulemaking will be filed Nov. 13, with an anticipated public rulemaking hearing on March 30, 2010 and the filing of permanent rules on April 29, 2010.