SIF Energy, LLC v. Dept. of Energy

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 12-30-2015
  • Case #: A150875
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J.; Nakamoto, J., for the Court; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 469.215(4) required the Department of Energy to certify up to 110% of the actual costs of an action qualifying for a business energy tax credit. The Oregon legislature spoke clearly on the matter and did not leave room for agency interpretation otherwise.

SIF Energy (SIF) challenged an order of the Oregon Department of Energy (the Department), claiming that SIF did not receive the amount of tax credit which it deserved. SIF built a renewable energy facility, which made SIF eligible for a business energy tax credit. The facility cost SIF about 2% more to build than estimated, but the Department used the estimated cost to calculate the allotted tax credit. SIF appealed a judgment affirming the order, claiming that ORS 469.215(4) (renumbered as ORS 469B.161) requires that the Department certify up to 110% of actual costs in determining tax credit allotment. The Department argued that the statute was up to interpretation, and that the statute granted the agency discretion to certify between 100 and 110 percent of estimated costs. The Oregon Court of Appeals held that the legislative history of ORS 469.215(4) required that the Department certify expenditures qualifying for a tax credit on the actual costs, not the estimated costs, and that the statute was not open for agency interpretation in that regard. Judgment reversed and remanded.

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