In a 19-to-2 vote, House lawmakers in Kentucky have approved a bill that could draw cryptocurrency mining operations to the U.S. state.
According to a report from the Lexington Herald on Tuesday, the House budget committee approved House Bill 230, which removes sales tax obligations from electricity purchased for use by cryptocurrency mining businesses.
The bill now moves to the state’s upper legislative house for review, joining the Senate’s own tax break for cryptocurrency mining operations: Senate Bill 255. Kentucky uses omnibus branch-wide budget bills, known as general appropriation bills, for its legislative process.
The bill’s fiscal note estimates a cost to the state’s General Fund, which collects receipts from the likes of income and property tax, would be from $1 million a year. Still, committee members recognized the move comes as part of Kentucky lawmakers’ larger plans to incentivize job creation and spur on industry growth.
The bill’s shortcomings, however, were raised by some, who noted that mining facilities consume large amounts of electricity and it is not necessarily a good thing for the state, according to the report.
“Mining for cryptocurrency takes a lot of electricity,” agreed Rep. Steven Rudy (R), the bill’s sponsor. “It is not just a few people sitting in their mom’s basement or in their parents’ basement writing code. This is actually highly sophisticated, highly technical.” But the representative shrugged off concerns from other members such as those posed by Rep. Josie Raymond (D).
“Why do we particularly want this industry in Kentucky?” asked Raymond, according to the report.
“We would love to have more industry,” Rudy responded. “We welcome industry here.”