Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, worked a last-minute deal with budget writers Friday to include a proviso in the 2013-15 operating budget which extends a tax break to businesses on the purchase of equipment and machinery used in the production of renewable energy.
This aspect of the budget became law Sunday with Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.
Hobbs worked closely with green businesses and the environmental community in crafting the language of the proviso, which received praise from Gary Shaver, President and CEO of Silicon Energy, LLC in Marysville.
“We’re very appreciative of the efforts Sen. Hobbs is making in encouraging our industry in Washington,” he said. “We’re at a point in our growth where we’re looking at every factor when determining the best ways to expand our business. This will help in that process.”
This break for manufacturers of wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy will help strengthen Washington’s standing as a leader in green energy and assist businesses hoping to expand and create additional jobs.
“Thanks to the leadership and dogged determination of Sen. Hobbs, this budget ensures continuation of the renewable sales and use tax exemption,” said Clifford Traisman, who represents the Washington Environmental Council and Renewable Northwest Project. “This tax policy has been one of the state’s key tools in spurring the current $8 billion in renewable energy investment throughout Washington State. Due to the efforts of Sen. Hobbs, it will continue to be a necessary tool in Washington’s ongoing efforts to develop clean, affordable, renewable energy sources.”
“Our state has led the way in green technology and the extension of this tax break for businesses developing renewable energy is a great way to maintain that standing,” Hobbs said, “but even more importantly, it strengthens the sometimes delicate balance between job creation and environmental protection.”