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Logan Lake council opening discussion on potential tax incentives for renewable energy investors | Radio NL

Business owners in Logan Lake interested in taking that step forward in the renewable energy sector are able to speak up in council Tuesday.

Up for debate is expanding the uptown core beatification Tax Incentive Program in the district to now, potentially including incentives for clean energy programs as well.

If the amendment is passed, owners who invest a minimum of $100,000 into renewable energy projects would be eligible for a 100 per cent municipal tax exemption on assessed land and buildings for a maximum of 10 years.

Mayor Robin Smith says the hope is to encourage new investments, both big and small, in renewable energy projects in Mining Operation zones.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a large scale but I do think its something that we need to be looking at because when you are looking at something like solar panels, or a wind turbine, I don’t think that has as much impact on the land as a building would have so I think that there is definitely a different way of looking of looking at that in terms of taxation and how do you apply taxation for a project like that.”

Smith suggests supporting renewable energy projects in Logan Lake, such as solar-hydro-tidal-geothermal-or biomass energy is something that just makes sense.

“We should be looking at it because if we can benefit as a community and as a region, from some of these clean energy projects staying here then I think its good potential for all of us,” she said. “I actually think that the benefit is broader than sort of the typical business venture might be, I think the benefit of clean energy could actually come back to the residents themselves in another way.”

Though offering tax incentives is fairly new to the community, Smith explains attracting clean energy projects is something that many communities are looking to do.

“I think Logan Lake is a good example of that and that understanding of course, we have the Highland Valley Copper Mine within our boundary, and mining is one of those things that will not be with us forever and always,” explains Smith.

“We would love for it to stay as long as it can and keep benefiting the community as long as possible but there is an end date so knowing that, we also have to be researching what other opportunities are out there to help make things a little bit easier when that end date does come.”

Previously, Smith says they lobbied the province to look through the BC assessments process, on how they apply taxation to clean energy projects at the provincial level. She adds they have been trying to work towards offering incentives for clean energy projects locally even prior to that.

“It goes back to even before we lobbied the government, to previously we had resolutions sent to UBCM, we have worked with different companies along the way that have said ‘hey we know what the value looks like in terms of wind or sun or whatever, because we do get a ton of sun up here too, and we definitely have had the private sector come to us on a number of occasions and have them come back, saying how do we make these things happen.”

The Logan Lake council meeting is taking place at 6:30 p.m. for those in the community wanting to give input on the matter.

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