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Four tax appeals angers Gov. Dave

Duke Energy's dispute with tax assessments over its wind farms in Laramie and Converse counties could impact nearly $15 million worth of property assessments in Laramie County alone. ...Gov. Dave Freudenthal is appalled by the tax dispute. The company boasted how much it would contribute in property taxes.

CHEYENNE -- Laramie County officials are uncertain how a pair of tax appeals could impact county cash collections.

Duke Energy appealed the $41 million property tax assessments for its four Wyoming wind farms in Laramie and Converse counties. The two wind projects located in Laramie County have a combined tax assessment of nearly $15 million.

Property value helps determine the bill for property taxes, and a drop in valuation would cut the final bill. Laramie County Commissioner Gay Woodhouse said any decrease would affect the county's bottom line.

It also would further strain the budget as officials anticipate expensive roadway damage and repairs associated with oil development in Laramie County. She added that the only problem is it's too early to attach a dollar sign to the impact.

Laramie County Commissioner Jeff Ketcham said Duke Energy has the right to appeal its tax bill. He added that the appeals will now go to the State Board of Equalization, and he plans to attend the hearing to learn more about the tax dispute.

A representative from Duke Energy could not be reached for comment.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company opened the Happy Jack Wind Farm nine miles west of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CHEYENNE -- Laramie County officials are uncertain how a pair of tax appeals could impact county cash collections.

Duke Energy appealed the $41 million property tax assessments for its four Wyoming wind farms in Laramie and Converse counties. The two wind projects located in Laramie County have a combined tax assessment of nearly $15 million.

Property value helps determine the bill for property taxes, and a drop in valuation would cut the final bill. Laramie County Commissioner Gay Woodhouse said any decrease would affect the county's bottom line.

It also would further strain the budget as officials anticipate expensive roadway damage and repairs associated with oil development in Laramie County. She added that the only problem is it's too early to attach a dollar sign to the impact.

Laramie County Commissioner Jeff Ketcham said Duke Energy has the right to appeal its tax bill. He added that the appeals will now go to the State Board of Equalization, and he plans to attend the hearing to learn more about the tax dispute.

A representative from Duke Energy could not be reached for comment.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company opened the Happy Jack Wind Farm nine miles west of Cheyenne in 2008. The project's 14 turbines were designed to generate 30 megawatts of electricity, enough to power several thousand homes.

Duke Energy completed a second Laramie County wind farm on the west end of the Happy Jack project a year later. The Silver Sage Windpower Project was designed to add another 20 turbines and 42 megawatts worth of electricity.

But while Laramie County officials view the appeals with caution, Gov. Dave Freudenthal said during a press conference Wednesday that he is appalled by the tax dispute. The company boasted how much it would contribute in property taxes during the projects' development and permitting phases.

He added that claims of miscommunication and miscalculation are excuses and don't justify the negative impact to county budgets.


Source: http://www.wyomingnews.com/...

SEP 13 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/28058-four-tax-appeals-angers-gov-dave
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