Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Illinois
We cannot avoid the fact that some people will suffer from the wind farm projects, but we can ensure that the wind farm companies adequately compensate the damaged individuals for their losses. No reason exists that a farmer who happens to own the specific property on which the company will place its turbines will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue from the project, while a simple family with a small home adjacent to the wind farm will lose tens of thousands of dollars of property value from the same project. County officials can and should insist that corporations obtaining permits for wind farms agree to a legal process whereby individuals whose property values are damaged will be compensated for this loss. Many Americans, including the majority of conservative Central Illinoisans, reacted with anger when the Supreme Court ruled that a city could take an individual’s home and give the land to a private developer. But at least in that case, the homeowners were receiving compensation for the taking. The wind farm situation, where no compensation for damaged homeowners is offered, presents a far worse scenario. We need not, and must not, tolerate it.
The Bureau County Board has approved three different multi-million dollar wind projects during the last year, promising economic growth for the small north-central Illinois county. However, problems with assessing the wind farms have halted some of the projects, as well as projects popping up throughout the state, as developers wait for a satisfying compromise in an argument about how to tax the energy-producing enterprises. Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, is attempting to resolve the conflict with legislation he introduced in the Illinois House last month. House Bill 380, seeks to amend the property tax code and set forth procedures for an assessment system based on kilowatt-hours of electricity produced. Taxing bodies would use the same across the state when assessing wind farms.
Another area school district is getting into the energy business. Plans are on the table for a $2.1 million wind turbine in the Sherrard School District in lower Rock Island County. The project would provide energy for the 170,000-square-foot junior/senior high campus, which is an all-electric facility. “Of that $2.1 million, the district has already received a little over $1.7 million in secured funding for the project,” Superintendent Robert Gillum said. “$420,000 of that is a nonrepay grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation.”
Several local governmental entities are moving ahead with a wind turbine feasibility study that will determine if the county is a viable location for a wind turbine. Mark Jackson with the Interstate R C & D, writer of the grant, was on hand at the Mercer County Courthouse Nov. 17 to visit with the governmental bodies. Representatives from The Mercer County Board, Mercer County Hospital, Mercer County Nursing Home and the Aledo School District were present to discuss the future of their joint endeavor. The collaboration was the beneficiary of a $14,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and will have the EAPC conduct the study. The EAPC has been the lead engineer in several other projects that have received approval to start building wind turbines.
City Water, Light and Power could start construction of its new coal-fired generator within days. The Springfield City Council on Thursday approved the latest deal struck between Mayor Tim Davlin’s administration and the Sierra Club. The agreement, passed 7-3, requires the city to ask the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to modify the new power plant’s operating and construction permits to incorporate stringent emission limits once it’s operational in June 2010. For its part, the Sierra Club has agreed to drop its objections to the construction permit within two days, allowing the months-delayed project to go forward. The agreement also requires the city to contract to buy 120 megawatts of wind capacity - 60 for itself and 60 for state government - within 90 days.
While most of the wind energy generated in Illinois is headed out of state, Normal mayor Chris Koos said Friday he wants the town to purchase some of the power. It’s part of the town’s efforts to purchase 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2010, he said. That includes wind power and other forms of energy, like bio-diesel fuel for town vehicles.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has announced a $2.2 million grant to a 198-megawatt wind-power project in eastern Mclean County. The grant will go to Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy to help build the first phase of a planned 400-megawatt wind farm. It would be one of the largest land-based wind farms in the world when completed by the end of 2007.
Concerns about lost tax revenue raised by some Stark County residents A proposal to annex a 112-tower wind farm project in Stark and Marshall counties into an enterprise zone met with no opposition Wednesday at a public hearing in Lacon, although some concerns about lost tax revenue surfaced at a hearing in Toulon. A developer, however, said lost taxes won’t be an issue. California-based wind energy company Orion Energy LLC is proposing the wind farm in the Camp Grove area near the Marshall-Stark County line. The company wants the project included in the Marshall County Enterprise Zone. If the project is included in the zone, it would receive exemption from sales taxes on materials bought in Illinois for the construction of the towers. But some Stark County residents are concerned about losing that revenue.
A large wind farm that would straddle the Marshall-Stark County line would be placed in an enterprise zone to get sales tax benefits for the developers under a proposal to be discussed at public hearings this week. At issue in the hearings, set for 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Stark County Courthouse and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Marshall County Courthouse, will be whether the 112-turbine, 200-megawatt wind energy installation planned for the Camp Grove area by California-based Orion Energy LLC should be annexed into the existing Marshall County Enterprise Zone, even though more than a third of the property is in neighboring Stark County.
PRINCETON — The city of Princeton has decided to let the wind blow through Princeton without capturing it.
He says the deal will help build a wind turbine in Winnebago County, where electricity generated will be put on the power "grid" and sold to the buyers in Chicago.
Putting their faith in City Water, Light and Power's cost estimates, a Springfield City Council majority Wednesday approved the city-owned utility's power plant agreement with the Sierra Club.
PRINCETON - Big Sky LLC received zoning permits Tuesday for part of a $300 million wind farm project but does not plan to build in Bureau County until the county's tax assessment on wind farms decreases.
A national model for how to burn coal in an environmentally responsible way, or an extortion scheme hatched behind closed doors...... As part of the pact, CWLP would spend $37 million on wind-generated power and other environmentally friendly approaches to generating electricity.
The key to the legislation, Sweeney said, is to consistently tax the wind farms within parameters of existing federal tax credits and state industrial and agricultural tax rates, while also providing incentives for more developments.
PRINCETON - A Tiskilwa family's attempt to build a small wind farm was postponed indefinitely Tuesday when the Bureau County Board voted against 10-year property tax abatements for the project.
Local wind farm developers Matt Kauffman and Todd Sears — doing business as Agriwind LLC — suffered a setback Tuesday night in their bid to build a five-turbine wind farm on less than 10 acres west of Tiskilwa.
TISKILWA - Local developers are continuing preparations to build a small-scale family-owned wind farm in Bureau County despite resistance to tax breaks for the project.
SPRINGFIELD - Supporters of energy-producing wind farms say a plan to change how the state taxes the giant turbines could put the fledgling industry out of business.
It wasn't quite the mighty wind Naperville was hoping for, but the option to purchase renewable energy through residential utility bills did cause a bit of a breeze in its first year.