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Oregon recovers $13M from Tesla over excess solar tax credits

The state of Oregon took back $13 million in tax credits it paid to Tesla Inc.'s solar energy unit after the company was discovered to have inflated prices of its solar power projects, The Oregonian reported.

An investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice revealed that Tesla Energy inflated the price of 14 large-scale solar power projects in the state to qualify for higher tax credits.

According to the newspaper, Tesla's solar unit, which the company acquired in November 2016, netted $16.7 million in tax credits when it was supposed to be only entitled to $6.7 million.

Oregon's Justice Department said that neither Tesla Energy nor its accounting firm, Novogradac & Co. LLP, admitted guilt in the settlement.

In a statement, Tesla called the Oregon attorney general's claims "hyperbolic" and said SolarCity had provided correct information in its tax applications. Tesla blamed conflicting interpretations of Oregon tax credit laws, adding that it was "entitled to every dollar of tax credits that it received."

The settlement consisted of $12.5 million in restitution and $500,000 in legal fees.