There’s an old axiom that states “figures lie and liars figure,” but what motive could Apex Clean Energy possibly have for stating that property values increase around industrial-scale wind power facilities?
A serene, pastoral Wyoming countryside in full soft-green color was the setting for an advertising tri-fold sent out to Somerset and Yates residents, without picturing 70 industrial turbines up to 625 feet high. The wind company’s propaganda piece stated, in effect, that property values soar in areas where wind factories are located.
However, a New York State property tax monitor stated the obvious: Wind turbine facilities erode the tax base.
Figures from the Wyoming County Real Property Tax Office regarding properties sold there do not support the conclusions drawn by Apex, because Apex omitted pertinent facts and descriptions of properties sold in Wyoming County. After all, a 93-acre farm does not compare to a residential single-family home sale.
People in Wyoming County were forced to sell their homes and property, which they had purchased in an environment they loved for its scenic beauty, peace and tranquil rural setting — until an industrial-scale, massive, oil-leaking, bird- and bat-killing wind turbine installation was constructed there.
After a six-year-long, grass-roots, neighbor-pitting-neighbor fight, the government subsidized the New York state politician-backed electrical facility planted among our homes, complete with transformers, switchyards, miles and miles of overhead and underground high-voltage electric lines, construction oil spills and ground water-threatening contamination.
People including myself who were forced to flee the area do not agree with Apex that property values soar where sprawling electrical wind factories are sited.
In Apex’s glossy brochure, the Wyoming County property that’s listed as having sold for $245,000 happens to have been mine. Apex conveniently left out the most important facts about the property: It was a 93-acre farm, sold for $245,000 on June 11, 2013, prior to completion of the 58-turbine Orangeville wind factory that was being constructed.
The new owner subsequently broke up the property into three parcels, two of which were sold off after the turbines went up, in July and August 2014. The combined assessed value of the three parcels is now $205,000. That’s a $40,000 or nearly 20 percent loss of value after the Orangeville wind factory was built.
Multi-billion dollar “greed” energy corporations have proven to be masters of deception by spreading mass confusion about the true effects of wind projects; their salesmen tell fairy tales. Meanwhile, around the world, independent studies from real people actually living under real-life IWTs indicate they’re nightmarish.
Today Apex is still slithering, with forked tongue, attempting to push the limits of its 70-turbine “Lighthouse Wind” project five miles beyond the present boundaries (amazingly, this is allowed in New York State law), and lately it was revealed that the turbines could be up to 625 feet tall, bigger than it originally said.
The company is still seeking to make deals with unsuspecting landowners, whose costs will be much more than the revenue promised to them. The deceptive and difficult language in the contract that they’ll sign holds their real estate hostage for up to 40 years. The new signs (“Fear Not the Wind,” “Harvest the Wind”) now appearing in the area indicate parcels that are already in Apex’s hands for the lifetimes of these landowners.
The town tax bill that would initially be paid by Apex — about 10 percent of the town tax load only — is not a trade-off for the massive property value losses that could occur with wind farm construction; worst-case scenarios put the losses at 25 to 45 percent of total assessed valuation.
Total abandonment of residential and farm properties located too close to IWTs has been observed by realtors around the country and the world. Michael McCann, a certified real estate appraiser for 30 years, has documented property value losses for up to 2 miles around an industrial wind turbine.
The reality is clear: Industrial wind factories negatively impact property values!
Cathi Orr is a self-described Wyoming County wind refugee now living in Somerset, and actively involved with Save Ontario Shores.