State lures firms with carbon tax credit

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Tennessee’s unusual commitment to cover the cost of any future carbon tax for green companies that make major investments is being credited for luring two big solar energy developments worth more than $2 billion.

The tax break, which the Bredesen administration quietly passed in the legislature last year, promises that the state will offset increased costs from any future tax on carbon emissions for a select group of companies: green energy supply chain firms spending at least $250 million in the state.

That includes the $1 billion Wacker Chemie plant announced in Bradley County last week, and the $1.2 billion Hemlock Semiconductor plant coming to Clarksville. Both will make polysilicon, a material used to make solar cells.

State Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr said the credit was enacted to help eliminate uncertainty among investors “worried that Congress or the state would enact a carbon tax that would have to be borne by the company.”

Why not? Other major industries get tax credits to come here.

NP NowPublic

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