Kulongoski Green Tax Credit Fraud demands investigation

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon,

The Oregonian exposed a green tax credit scam on Sunday (must read) . It goes beyond just lying about budget numbers to outright fraud by the Governor’s office to the Legislature. Agency officials estimated the proposed green tax credits would cost $13 million but insider documents show that the Governor pressured these officials to yank it down to $1.2 million so it could better pass legislative muster. Now the cost is tens of millions more, roughly 40 times the promised amount. It is interesting to see that this has been picked up around the web (here and here).

Harry Esteve may have sparked a firestorm. Why not an Attorney General investigation or Legislative review? Will not some lawmaker stand up and call for an immediate investigation?

Here is an excerpt,

According to documents obtained under Oregon’s public records law, agency officials estimated in a Nov. 16, 2006, spreadsheet that expanding the tax credits would cost taxpayers an additional $13 million in 2007-09. But after a series of scratch-outs and scribbled notes, a new spreadsheet pared the cost to $1.8 million. And when energy officials handed their final estimate to the Legislature in February 2007, they pegged the added cost at just $1.2 million for the first two years and $4.1 million for 2009-11. The higher estimates were never shown to lawmakers…The official estimates turned out to be absurdly low. In 2007-09, the business tax credit cost the state $68 million, of which about $40 million can be attributed to the bigger subsidies. The latest estimate for 2009-11 puts the tab for subsidies at $167 million in lost revenue, which is projected to grow to $243 million for 2011-13 — about what Oregon spends now from its general fund on the entire state police budget…

If that wasn’t enough Harry Esteve went further by showing the horror stories of companies receiving the tax credit..

— A Clatskanie ethanol plant got $12 million in tax subsidies plus a $20 million state energy loan, then promptly went bankrupt and stopped operating.

— A Boardman tire recycling plant got $3.4 million even though, after more than two years, it has yet to recycle tires

— Thirty-five companies that had applied for smaller tax breaks under the old rules were granted the higher subsidies — essentially giving them windfalls that cost taxpayers $2.1 million

Read more here!

  • Steve Buckstein

    For more reasons why any level of these tax credits are bad policy, see:
    “Market Intervention Overkill”

  • Sybella

    Kulongoski should be required to pay the taxpayers back. He also needs to be thrown out on his ear.

  • Rick Hickey

    A strong reminder of what may/will happen if the Feds pass Cap & Trade. Government fraud in the Billions will be possible.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Well, I am sure that we will shortly be hearing statements of outrage from those that continuously rail against corporate welfare. You know, the crowd that was demanding blood over the Hyundai plant when it got subsidies and then the bottom fell out of the memory chip market.

    I feel quite sure those same people will also pause and consider how those of us who think that maybe BO’s health care plan will cost way more than original estimates are basing this opinion on experiences likes these and not just simple hatred of all government in any form.

    So, look at the upside of all of this. We wasted a lot of money but it will bring both sides closer together. The left will now understand why some of us take pause at the financial wisdom of such notions as government handing out subsidies. Oh the joy of togetherness!

  • Moe

    Is there anything about this guy that hasn’t been a lie???

  • Bad Man

    Maybe it’s time for a FEDERAL INVESTIGATION of Ted and his entire office of union shills. You certainly cn’t count on the current Attorney General – given his inability to prosecute Sam Adams for anything.

    • Anonymous

      Federal investigation. Don’t you realize that when the libs investigate the libs, the result is the fault of the conservatives?

  • Just say do’h to Ted as he exits

    Throw the KulongoskAid out! The sooner the better for cryin’ out loud.

  • v person

    I’m curious why there is no complaining about the Oregonian here. I thought they were in the tank for Democrats, and you all were hoping they would quickly go out of business.

    As for Rupert, 2 quick points:
    1) Its not Obama’s plan. He doesn’t have one. Its Congress’s plan…or plans.
    2) Its the CBO that estimates the costs, not Obama. And most seem to think the CBO is a neutral scorer. On Bush’s Medicare part D, the CBO over estimated the costs to date. It has turned out cheaper than predicted.

    • Steve Plunk

      So Obama is not coordinating with Pelosi and Reid? That defies logic. It’s Obama’s plan as much as anyone’s.

      The CBO is nonpartisan. They can be off on their estimates but they are far more reliable than other agencies who estimate costs of programs.

      Your misdirection attempt is failing.

  • Anonymous

    v green dean

    How is it that you can’t stick with the substance?
    You sure are sickening.

    • v person

      Sorry I spoiled your dinner. But I did “stick with substance.” Substance number 1 is that Catalyst and commentors often, as recently as yesterday claimed the Oregonian is worthless, and here they now say there is a “must read” article in it. Substance number 2 was a response to Rupert’s false characterization of my position on health care.

      Now go try and enjoy your desert.

      • Steve Plunk

        Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. The complaints about the Oregonian are directed more at the editorial content and position, story choice, and endorsements.

        • v person

          I’m not talking about complaints about the Oregonian. I’m talking about those who cheer its demise one day and quote stories from it the next. There is a disconnect between those who blog and those who do the hard work of reporting, and the bloggers don’t seem to get this.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Substance number 2 was a response to Rupert’s false characterization of my position on health care.

        I gave a false characterization of your position on health care?

        Ok – my question for you would be do you think of these things all by yourself or to they come into your head from some sort of ethereal voice?

        Yet again I will point out to you – Read what you are responding to before popping off.

        • v person

          Wrong post. My bad. You mischaracterized my health care position elsewhere, not here.

  • Jerry

    The Oregonian, even with a must read, is going to be out of business in a couple more years. So it doesn’t matter what you think, or I think, or anyone else thinks. They are going under.
    Period. Accept it and move on.
    Secondly, this supposed green energy stuff is all hogwash. Anyone who has ever studied it knows that is it is not cost effective OR green effective. It never will be.
    Build some nuke plants if you really want to help out.

    • David Appell

      > The Oregonian, even with a must read, is going to be out of business in a couple more years

      Not true. They’re the premier new organization in the state, and will be one of the last to fall.

      And I don’t know why you’d want that anyway. They just uncovered this malfeasance. No blogger or foundation like CPI did that — a newspaper did. Without them you’d probably never know about this story, let alone have the chance to be outraged about it.

      The Oregonian’s demise will be to the detriment of everyone.

  • Anonymous

    v green dean,

    Typical suggestive BS.

    No this one stroy does not make the Oregonian any less worthless or Catalyst commenters confused hypocrites.
    Is that what you were trying claim? Stupid.

    Today’s lead editorial misses the point just like you. They took a shot at Walmart of course.

    The energy department can’t be trusted that’s obvious. Not the the governor either.
    Cooking the numbers to get legislation passed is malfeascence.

    But is this the only offense? Not hardly. This state is riddled with abundant examples of cooked books, backroom schemes and corruption of all kinds.

    In agency after agency bureaucrats and public officials manipulate and deceive and then self report on their effectiveness.

    You’re a fool lost in the advocacy of foolishness by the dishonest unethical.