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State double standard on Hydro

Sen. Jane Kitchel led an initiative to insert a special $200,000 appropriation in the most recent state budget. The money will be spent to hire special appraisers to update the value of the TransCanada dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers. ...It's another example of an interesting double standard in the Vermont legislature.

Sen. Jane Kitchel led an initiative to insert a special $200,000 appropriation in the most recent state budget. The money will be spent to hire special appraisers to update the value of the TransCanada dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers.

The reasoning is that local towns are no match for the big boys at TransCanada who will spare no expense to avoid paying higher property taxes to Vermont towns and to the state. The legislature, of course, can't wait to wring more tax dollars out of the hydro dams.

It's another example of an interesting double standard in the Vermont legislature.

The hydro dams are delivering clean, renewable, zero-carbon power that is predictable and reliable. Unlike wind farms that are fickle when it comes to generating power, the dams generate power on demand.

We remember a bill passed by the legislature that attempted to reduce the tax on wind farms to almost nothing and renege on an agreement with Vermont Yankee (thereby increasing its taxes to outrageous levels.) Fortunately, a veto by Governor Douglas was sustained.

TransCanada is another example of a utility singled out by the state for special tax treatment. The state-funded... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Sen. Jane Kitchel led an initiative to insert a special $200,000 appropriation in the most recent state budget. The money will be spent to hire special appraisers to update the value of the TransCanada dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers.

The reasoning is that local towns are no match for the big boys at TransCanada who will spare no expense to avoid paying higher property taxes to Vermont towns and to the state. The legislature, of course, can't wait to wring more tax dollars out of the hydro dams.

It's another example of an interesting double standard in the Vermont legislature.

The hydro dams are delivering clean, renewable, zero-carbon power that is predictable and reliable. Unlike wind farms that are fickle when it comes to generating power, the dams generate power on demand.

We remember a bill passed by the legislature that attempted to reduce the tax on wind farms to almost nothing and renege on an agreement with Vermont Yankee (thereby increasing its taxes to outrageous levels.) Fortunately, a veto by Governor Douglas was sustained.

TransCanada is another example of a utility singled out by the state for special tax treatment. The state-funded appraisers are to be used only on the TransCanada appraisal.

A legislature that spends an inordinate amount of time and energy fulfilling the wishes of the wind, solar panel and backyard hydro crowd is taking a hostile approach to big hydro, which, at the end of the day, will do far more for Vermont tax coffers and ratepayers than a dozen windmills on a hilltop.

The politicians should be careful what they wish for. With the wholesale market for power plummeting, electricity from TransCanada is selling for about a third of its sale price a year ago. Since the revenue received from the sale of power generated by the dams is a good part of the dam's value, the state-funded reappraisal could backfire with a new fair market value lower than the existing one.


Source: http://caledonianrecord.com...

DEC 10 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23563-state-double-standard-on-hydro
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