TUCSON -- The US government boosted the Investment Tax Credit from 10 percent to 30 percent for solar systems in 2006, meaning that 30 percent of the cost of building and installing a system is returned to the investor in the form of a tax credit. But that rate is set to expire at the end of 2008. That scenario worries many political, business, and academic leaders here, who see their dreams of a solar-energy hub evaporating.
"The extension of the tax credit is critical," says US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona. "I've introduced legislation to extend it to 2016."
Representative Giffords is urging that the government pay for the extension by reducing tax credits to oil and gas companies. During "the next five years, [oil and gas companies] are slated to receive about $17 billion. That money instead should be going toward renewable energy," she says. "It is critical, and I believe Democrats and Republicans acknowledge it."
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