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WV taxpayers want credit for using solar tech

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    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:41 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:41:06 GMT
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    A new Harrison and Taylor County 911 center is one step closer to becoming a reality.Consultants gave a report to Harrison County Commission today with cost estimates for three potential sites.They include the Quarry area, the P-K area and a field adjacent to Robert C Byrd High School."All three of them have pros and cons. Some of them have better expansion areas some of them are harder to develop because they are farther away from utilities and resources. Others don't have a lot of clearing ...
  • Dickey's Barbeque Pit on Emily Drive Celebrates Grand Opening

    Dickey's Barbeque Pit on Emily Drive Celebrates Grand Opening

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:28 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:28:50 GMT
    Dickey's Barbeque Pit will soon be open on Emily Drive in Clarksburg.The restaurant held a soft opening today for family and friends to help prepare them for the official opening day tomorrow.The whole weekend will feature a number of special events."Tomorrow we open at 11 o'clock and we're doing all kinds of stuff. The first 50 guests will get a free gift card and one will randomly have $50 on it. On Friday we're giving away three free barbeque for a year passes and a $500 gift card," said c...
    Dickey's Barbeque Pit will soon be open on Emily Drive in Clarksburg.The restaurant held a soft opening today for family and friends to help prepare them for the official opening day tomorrow.The whole weekend will feature a number of special events."Tomorrow we open at 11 o'clock and we're doing all kinds of stuff. The first 50 guests will get a free gift card and one will randomly have $50 on it. On Friday we're giving away three free barbeque for a year passes and a $500 gift card," said c...
  • State Police Spend Overtime On Sex Offender Compliance Checks

    State Police Spend Overtime On Sex Offender Compliance Checks

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:23:32 GMT
    A program through the U.S. Marshals Service paid for all of those extra hours, to make sure offenders are following the law and the public is safe.
    A program through the U.S. Marshals Service paid for all of those extra hours, to make sure offenders are following the law and the public is safe.
  • EnergyEnergyMore>>

  • UPDATE: Sen. Manchin reacts to potential Patriot Coal layoffs

    UPDATE: Sen. Manchin reacts to potential Patriot Coal layoffs

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:01:24 GMT
    Patriot Coal issued warnings that it could lay off employees at its Wells mining complex near Wharton and its Corridor G complex near Danville.
    Patriot Coal issued warnings that it could lay off employees at its Wells mining complex near Wharton and its Corridor G complex near Danville.
  • Council hears pro, con testimony on parks drilling in Western Pa.

    Council hears pro, con testimony on parks drilling in Western Pa.

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:45:30 GMT
    Council members in western Pennsylvania heard testimony for and against a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park. The Allegheny County Council is considering a proposal to allow Range Resources and Huntley Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring properties.
    Council members in western Pennsylvania heard testimony for and against a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park. The Allegheny County Council is considering a proposal to allow Range Resources and Huntley Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring properties.
  • Labor Dept. cuts levels of allowable coal dust

    Labor Dept. cuts levels of allowable coal dust

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:27 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:27:19 GMT
    The administration first proposed the rule back in 2010, when it said it would fight a resurgence of black lung disease. The Mine Safety and Health Administration held seven public hearings, extended the comment period three times, and got around 2,000 pages of comments. It took 3 ½ years for the rule to be finalized.
    The administration first proposed the rule back in 2010, when it said it would fight a resurgence of black lung disease. The Mine Safety and Health Administration held seven public hearings, extended the comment period three times, and got around 2,000 pages of comments. It took 3 ½ years for the rule to be finalized.

MARTINSBURG (AP) — Some taxpayers in the Eastern Panhandle are challenging the state's exclusion of solar energy from an alternative energy tax credit.

A 2011 law allows a credit of up to $25,000 for alternative-fuel motor vehicles and more than $300,000 for qualified refueling infrastructure between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2013.

Last October, the West Virginia State Tax Department ruled that solar energy would not be included under the law's credits, said John Christensen with Mountain View Solar in Berkeley Springs.

"That put us in a tough position, because we have a lot of (clients) that are on the hook for that money," Christensen told The Journal. "They were expecting tax credits, and now the tax department is expecting them to pay up."

He said that several people are appealing the decision.

"Everything that's handled in this office is confidential," said Stephen Lee, director of the Office of Tax Appeal. "I can't acknowledge whether we have a case or not."

David Levine with solar analytics company Geostellar said the tax department "has been somewhat arbitrary and capricious in accepting and denying individual claims for the tax credit."

Geostellar has engaged a national tax accounting firm to gather information and provide advice on the issue, he said.

"We've found cases where the tax credit has gone through, we've seen cases in which the people have been asked to pay back taxes," Levine said. "There doesn't seem to be any distinction between the two."

An environmental group, Sustainable Shepherdstown, has collected more than 800 signatures on an online petition that asks Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to instruct the tax department to include solar energy in the law.

"I'm impressed by how fast this petition has spread across the state," said volunteer Than Hitt. "I think this is just the tip of the iceberg."

The petition also seeks corrective legislation to provide a "safe harbor" for those who already applied for the tax credit.

"That's the most important thing out of all of us, because we were led to believe there was a tax credit coming," Christensen said.

The petition also asks that solar energy be included in state tax incentives.

Hitt said a tax credit would be a positive step toward increasing West Virginia's solar potential.

"When you look at the places with the strongest economies, you see that those are the places that provide incentives for people to produce and to use solar power," Hitt said. "I think West Virginia should do the same."

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.