As House OKs budget, solar tax credits in the crosshairs (video)

The NC House voted to approve a $22.1 billion budget in the early hours of Friday morning, sending the spending plan off to the Senate where it will most certainly face more changes.

One of the dozens of amendments debated prior to the passage of the spending plan would have eliminated an extension of renewable energy tax credits.

Wake County Rep. Marilyn Avila said she would not support a tax credit for the solar industry, while so many areas of the budget went underfunded:

“We lacked adequate child care for at-risk kids, we lacked money to address the needs of traumatic brain injury patients, we lacked money to provide services to the mentally ill who have been sent back to their communities for treatment that isn’t there.”

Cabarrus County Rep. Larry Pittman chimed in that he had “great concerns” about subsidizing solar farms that are displacing traditional farmland.

But Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County urged his colleagues to support the latest compromise on solar tax credits –  a one-year extension, with a scaled-back credit for the second year of the budget.

“Never again will I stand on this floor and ask the members to extend the credit,” pledged Rep. Lewis.

In the end House members voted (38-77) to defeat Avila’s amendment.

For more on the highs and lows of the House budget, read Friday’s Fitzsimon File: The Follies (of celebrating a budget that doesn’t make things worse).


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    May 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    The fact that this atrocity is being celebrated here is reason enough to hate the budget. At least the Senate side will likely be much more in line with what NC needs from what I have been hearing.

  2. John

    May 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    The investment in solar energy has been a good decision by North Carolina. The state has seen a $1.93 return in benefits for every dollar spent on state incentives. About 450 solar companies employ 4,300 workers statewide and have invested $2 billion across 55 counties.

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    May 24, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Yes, but you have not included the increased power bills in your calculations. If you included that, then the solar scheme is a big big loser. A paltry 4300 people does not outweigh EVERYONE paying significantly more for the high priced solar and other renewable energy sources. It also does not include the environmental cost of manufacturing the solar panels which use many toxic chemicals. Luckily the Senate will be in between the House so that rational heads will prevail…as long as the big money solar lobby does not buy them off too.

  4. John

    May 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    A lesson that many are not yet getting is that fossil fuels aren’t cheaper than renewables:

  5. Alan

    May 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Ah….LSD? Strange that you mention “the big money solar lobby”. I think the fossil fuel lobby (read: GOP paymaster) takes a lot of beating in it’s efforts to bribe, (or is that lobby?) our elected officials.

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    May 27, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    That is not exactly an issue in NC. Last I saw, there were no oil wells in NC.

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