Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Low electrical transmission capacity is not only making it difficult for wind power developers to figure out how to connect to the grid; it's created another hurdle for development of a uniform tax-exempt policy.
The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency was charged with creating the policy to guide all payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements for wind farms by the county Board of Legislators last year.
February 20, 2009
by Travis Morse
in The Journal-Standard
Stephenson County officials are asking certain area taxing bodies to abate property taxes for the EcoGrove wind farm project for approximately three years, as part of an effort to ensure the initiative's financial viability.
While these taxing bodies would lose money in the short term, they would make a considerable amount of funding once the wind farm is up and running and if the project continues to expand, officials said.
TransCanada is interested in a 60-40 TIF district with 60 percent of the taxes generated from a wind farm going back to the developer to put into the project. The other 40 percent would be kept by the county for economic development in unorganized territories. ...TIFs have been widely used by municipalities because the new value of the project is "captured" and can be "sheltered" from state valuation. State valuations are used in state formulas for education subsidies, revenue sharing and also for computing county taxes, Ledew said.
Because the UT receives no state education subsidy, sheltering TIF value in the UT will not translate to additional education subsidies for unorganized territory residents.
While energy incentives are promoted based on the argument that they will be needed for only a limited amount of time, “very few, if any, of these industries have independently determined that these subsidies are no longer necessary,” Marchant said, requesting guidance from the panel.
GALESBURG - Local landowners and officials find that taxes are the taxing issue for a future Knox County wind farm.
Taxes are a concern in two ways: The challenge for local officials is how to value wind turbines for tax purposes. How the tax bill is paid is a concern for landowners, who don't want to pay the taxes for the turbines, which cost $1.6 million each, said Michael Arndt, development manager for Invenergy. The Chicago-based company plans to build 266 turbines in Knox County.
Prior to this year, many wondered how renewable energy projects, such as the solar array at the Southern Vermont Energy Park, would be taxed. In 2010, legislation was passed that called for the Public Service Department to study the issue, and the law based on that study went into effect this year.
Wind-power projects funded in part by the $787-billion Recovery Act (stimulus law) are coming under scrutiny at a time when President Obama and other Democrats have promoted alternative forms of energy production.
Two New York Democrats - Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Eric Massa - are among the lawmakers criticizing specific wind-power projects that are getting hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies.
The power generated by the mega-plants will be among the most expensive renewable energy in the country. ...Stanford University economist Frank Wolak said the state's renewable energy strategy could boost electricity rates 10% to 20%, depending on a number of factors. Potentially, consumers' bills could go up by 50%.
"It is easily in the billions of dollars," he said.
The Taylorville city council is eyeing an ordinance to ban wind turbines inside the city limits.
Alderman Shawn Burtle says some community members have approached the council, claiming the wind turbines would create noise and potential danger if ice forms on the turbines.
Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz has said extending the zone with 3-foot strips of land down to the southern part of the county to include the wind towers is against the letter and spirit of the state's Enterprise Zone Act.
"This proposed expansion of the enterprise zone is in clear conflict with the purpose, intent and standards of the Enterprise Zone Act and its accompanying administrative regulations," Umholtz said in a written decision issued Monday.
After 15 months of debate, studies and public input, the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors made their decision on the Ridge Line Ordinance.
The ordinance passed in a 3-2 vote.
David Anderson, Jim Campbell, and Mike Hymes voted for it while Seth White and John Absher voted against it.
The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors had a heated meeting on Tuesday night with a lot of hot topic items on the agenda.
A lot of people at the meeting were there because of the controversial wind turbine talk.
The board met with a consultant group behind closed doors in executive session.
The magnitude of these structures shocked our county officials but will they generate revenue of the same magnitude?
"Land owners get their annual fees from what is produced. Then also the county would only be able to do the personal property tax. And a personal property tax would be on each individual wind turbine. And under personal property, it would depreciate each year too." says Supervisor David Anderson.
The construction phase would create some revenue as well.
A group of concerned residents put a 30-day stop to wind farm talks in Logan County, but the Tazewell County half of the project continues to move forward.
Rockford attorney Rick Porter represents a group of Logan County residents who are opposed to the Rail Splitter Wind Farm by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC.
The proposed project would cover more than 11,000 acres of farmland straddling Tazewell and Logan counties just east of Interstate 155.
"I would sincerely hope that whoever runs for the Board of Supervisors - if it's not me - that they would listen to the people and abide by the organization and regulations already set forth," Anderson said.
Anderson said it will be up to the voters to carefully question candidates about where they stand on wind turbines on East River Mountain.
The chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors is wanting to see an ongoing wind energy economic impact study completed by September to help expedite a decision on a large-scale wind turbine project proposed for East River Mountain.
"I would like to see it ready by our September meeting," David Anderson, who represents the county's Eastern District, said.
Tazewell County officials say they will attempt to make a decision Feb. 2 on a controversial wind turbine farm for East River Mountain.
However, they aren't guaranteeing at this point that the board will be able to reach a consensus decision on the proposed ridgeline construction ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting.
The board took no action on a proposed ridgeline protection ordinance. Board members opted instead to wait on the recommendations of the tall-structures steering committee. David Anderson, the board's chairman, said the steering committee has two additional meetings scheduled. Anderson said the committee could present its recommendations to the supervisors by April.
The proposed ordinance - if adopted by the board - could restrict the development of tall structures on certain protected mountain ridges, including East River Mountain and Burkes Garden.
Anderson, Bluefield, Va. Town Manager Todd Day, and other officials traveled to the Mount Storm windmill site in hopes of learning more about a large-scale windmill proposal for East River Mountain. Several companies are looking to develop as many as 60, 400-foot tall windmills along the crest of East River Mountain.
A long-awaited wind energy economic impact study for Tazewell County could be ready as early as next week. ...Following a five-minute recess in Tuesday's meeting, [County Administrator Jim] Spencer told media representatives that he was told by Springsted officials on the telephone that the wind energy study wouldn't be finished until mid-October.