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Nebraska lawmakers have passed a bill that features sales tax exemptions to attract wind farms to the state.

The bill, L.B.104, provides sales tax exemptions for the purchase of wind turbines, towers and other wind farm components - which neighboring states, such as Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma, have used.

Sen. Steve Lathrop, D-Omaha., who introduced the bill, said L.B. 104 is designed to keep Nebraska competitive with other high-wind states that have offered tax incentives. Nebraska currently charges a sales tax on all equipment and materials used in wind projects.

The bill is expected to pave the way for more wind farms in the state. Kansas-based developer TradeWind Energy is planning a $300 million wind farm for Dixon County, Neb., located near the Iowa and South Dakota border.

Lawmakers rejected a proposed amendment that would have required companies to use a certain amount of Nebraska-made materials when constructing wind farms. Opponents of the amendment argued that the requirement would make it harder for wind companies to create wind farms in Nebraska, because products made in-state might cost more than those produced elsewhere.

Gov. Dave Heineman, R-Neb., has criticized the bill, saying it extends tax breaks to out-of-state companies and vows to veto it. 


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