The Clay County Commissioners’ Court will be ignoring the interests of Clay County if it awards more wind farm tax abatements.
The Clay County Commissioners awarded tax abatements for the Shannon Wind Farms. The county will receive $202,000.00 in lieu of taxes in year one (2017). The Clay County Appraisal District has appraised the value of the wind farm at $301,068,270, nearly half the 2015 tax base of $729,725,252.00.
The tax money Clay County would receive in 2017, without any tax abatement, using the CCAD determined value and the current tax rate would yield $2,124,638.78 in taxes for the first year instead of $202,000.00, a loss to the county of $1,922,638.78.
The abatement payments increase annually, but it takes five years for the total payments to reach what Clay County would receive in first year taxes without the tax abatement.
The total Clay County gets in lieu of taxes for ten year life of the abatement is $8,774,500.00. Clay County would receive $21,246,388.51 in taxes without the abatement. That’s a giveaway of $12,471,887.80 tax dollars.
If the tax rate and wind farm value remain stable for the term of the abatement, Clay County is giving away about $12,000,000+ in tax revenue in those ten years. Tax abatements can only be justified, if at all, if the wind farm(s) would not be built if the Clay County Commissioners do not award tax abatements.
KFDX News quoted Horn Wind LLC president, Jimmy Horn, who is responsible for the Clay County wind farms. “It hurts our financials if we don’t get tax incentives. We can build without them but it’s a lot harder.” These comments indicate the wind farms will be built even if Clay County does not award the tax abatements. There is no good reason for our commissioners to award another $12 million giveaway.
Clay County citizens should tell their representatives on the Commissioners’ Court to refuse to award any more tax abatements for wind farms.