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California Plans Tax Break for Clean Tech Manufacturing

teslawhiteTo boost the ranks of “green” and “clean” manufacturers, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing a plan to exempt cleantech manufacturers from sales tax on equipment they purchase, reports the Contra Costa Times.

Schwarzenegger said it could help boost development of alternative fuels, as well as manufacture of solar panels, wind turbines or alt-energy cars.

“This will help California attract and retain green businesses and jobs like this,” Schwarzenegger said in the article.

The tax break is being modeled after a deal the state gave in 2009 to electric car manufacture Tesla Motors. That deal exempted Tesla from paying sales tax on equipment it bought to build zero-emissions vehicles.

The plan will come to the state legislature attached to a bill from Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo).

Some lawmakers suggest that the idea of a “green” sales tax exemption is noble but too vague. Others say that the state should just do away with its manufacturing equipment sales tax altogether.

The California Manufacturers and Technology Association says that 47 of 50 states offer such an exemption.

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