Change in Kansas law helps cause
A new law has merchant power producers knocking on Kansas doors.
"The Legislature approved a 12-year tax abatement for new independent, or merchant, energy plants," said Gary Carlson, executive director of Leavenworth Area Development. "The day after they passed it, two people from other power plants walked in the door."
House Bill 2266, as originally proposed, would have reduced the tax valuation for new merchant plants from 33 percent to 25 percent. In conference committee, however, that was replaced with a 12-year tax abatement.
A similar bill, House Bill 2268, which also passed in May, provides a 10-year tax abatement to new electric public utilities.
Sen. Bob Lyon, R-Winchester, who voted in favor of the bills, said he was pleased to hear that HB 2266 was generating interest among energy corporations.
"That's great news," Lyon said. "That was certainly the intent. We were hopeful that the tax break and financial incentive would make the state much more attractive to corporations that were looking to expand."
California's recent energy shortage may have helped push the vote through, he said.
"I think that their experience has made us all aware of the necessity of adequate supply," Lyon said. "The greater amount of supply that can be done close by and in the state, I think is the better."