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Lawmakers pass Neb. wind energy incentive bill

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A bill that would use sales tax exemptions to attract wind farms to Nebraska has won final approval from lawmakers.

Senators voted 38-2 on Wednesday to pass the measure, as a Kansas-based company considers developing a wind farm in Dixon County, near the Iowa and South Dakota border.

Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha says his bill is designed to keep Nebraska competitive with other high-wind states in the Plains that have offered tax incentives. Nebraska currently charges a sales tax on all equipment and materials used in wind-energy projects.

Nebraska ranks as one of the nation's biggest wind-producing states, but 26th in the energy it could produce with equipment currently installed.

Lawmakers rejected a proposed amendment that would have required companies to purchase Nebraska-made materials.