[Source: MSN Money, June 26, 2008] — New tax incentives for solar energy companies are moving forward at the Arizona Legislature. Arizona House of Representatives committees Thursday moved forward a bill (HB 2872) that offers income and property tax breaks for solar firms locating in the state. Solar tax credits are also part of a multi-pronged economic package (SB 1433) advocated by State Rep. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, that also includes an expanded research and development tax credit, tax breaks for development of new restaurants, offices, and retail next to Chase Field, and tourism and restaurant taxes in Tucson to pay for Cactus League baseball facilities.
The Greater Phoenix Economic Council is a prime backer of the solar incentives, arguing Arizona needs them to compete with Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Texas for jobs. GPEC has been urging business leaders and companies to lobby Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Legislature on behalf of the solar incentives. Skeptics, including the conservative Arizona Free Enterprise Club, do not like tax breaks carved out for individual sectors or companies, preferring more across-the-board tax cuts.
Intel Corp., the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Arizona Technology Council are main pushers of the expanded research and development tax credit. The downtown Phoenix development tax breaks are geared towards developer and Arizona Diamondbacks co-owner Dale Jensen.