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La. solar tax credit price tag far above estimates

2 years ago August 09, 2012 Aug 9, 2012 Thursday, August 09 2012 Thursday, August 09, 2012 9:38:36 AM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE - A tax break passed by lawmakers four years ago to spur investment in solar energy has become a costly deal for the state, siphoning millions of dollars more than expected from Louisiana's coffers.

When lawmakers passed the Wind and Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit in 2007, fiscal analysts said they expected lost state tax income to be less than $500,000 a year.

But in four years of the tax break, the state has shelled out $37 million for the tax credit - more than 18 times the maximum estimate, according to data provided to The Associated Press by the Department of Revenue.

As questions have been raised, the revenue department is taking steps to put limits on who can get the tax break and what items are eligible for reimbursement.

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