Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Illinois
"The Jacksonville Journal Courier estimated that Jacksonville Public Schools would get about $75,000 in the very first year. ...When you put that into perspective and look at those dollars compared to annual budgets, we have an annual budget of right around $38 million a year. $75,000 a year I don’t think is enough to make an advertisement that’s saying that the local community is going to benefit at a number of $43.8 million,” Ptacek explains.
A Jan. 7 Federal Claims Court decision sided with the Treasury Department and ordered a wind energy developer to pay back $5.63 million in grants in lieu of tax credits, an inflated amount that stemmed from the company’s advantageous tax planning.
Senate Bill 2612 will renew the process by which wind energy devices are assessed for property taxes. The bill extends the law that was scheduled to sunset Dec. 31 for 5 years. Demmer said the bill is important for the wind industry and local taxing bodies.
A local law that would allow Somerset to opt-out of a provision in state real property tax law that allows energy projects to be exempt from property taxes will be presented and discussed in a meeting Wednesday.
The article paints a picture of renewable energy’s future being threatened by land owners who unpatriotically are hampering attempts to build electrical transmission lines from wind-rich Western states to customers. ...It [the transmission] has not been proven necessary by any state’s regulatory commission.
An interview with Royer for The Courier-News about the meeting that had been set for Monday afternoon was cancelled Monday morning. Carol Gieske, president of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, said, "It was a closed meeting, so he is unable to discuss what transpired."
But deep differences over spending in Congress have made the PTC's fate uncertain. And that uncertainty has stalled wind farm development nationwide and led to cutbacks at major U.S. turbine manufacturing plants.
Ellison said the future expansion of wind energy all over the country depends on politicians in Washington, which he says makes it a risky business venture. "You wouldn't put your money into something whose survival ability is contingent upon the government passing year to year tax credits," said Ellison.
"The (production tax credit) has been in place since 1992, I believe," Exelon Chief Executive Christopher Crane said in a conference call with investors and analysts Wednesday. "And I think that's enough time to jump-start an industry, 20 years. So we've made it known, even as a wind company, that it should be stopped."
There is still a possibility the wind power tax credits could come through as a stand-alone bill or tied to other legislation. But Washington insiders say that is unlikely to happen before the election in November. By then, the wind industry says, it will be too late to avoid massive layoffs and project delays, because wind projects slated for 2013 should already be far along.
With the wind turbines considered taxable property this year, the Hartsburg-Emden School District has proposed a property tax increase of a little more than 27 percent applicable only to new properties -- in this case, the Logan County portion of the wind farm. School officials want the wind farm to carry more of the property tax burden.
Woodford County officials are considering a proposal by Gamesa, a Spanish wind farm developer, for a project that would include 25 wind turbines in Livingston County west of Flanagan and 75 turbines on the Woodford side of the county line.
A well-rehearsed claim repeatedly trumpeted by wind project developers, and those wanting to join with them, promises substantial new property tax revenues as a windfall for our schools and counties. This argument becomes a tool used to disarm those neighbors who are opposed to these mammoth towers and the disruption to this agricultural community. As I have investigated these claims of promised new tax revenues, I was struck by what is not shared: Subsequent appeals of the taxes, attempts to claim the turbines are not real property and affects of accelerated depreciation on these turbines thereby rapidly reducing the taxable value.
KU and sister company Louisville Gas and Electric Co. plan to purchase wind power from the breezy prairie of northern Illinois to help meet what they expect will be federal requirements to increase their use of renewable energy. Last month, they asked the Kentucky Public Service Commission for permission to add a "renewable resource clause" to customer bills so they can recover the costs of the pricier wind power and transmission.
The District 300 school board approved a pilot all-day kindergarten program ...The money - an estimated $2 million a year after six years - made from the wind farm would be used to offset the district's energy costs. ...But board member Monica Clark questioned whether it is too good to be true.
Stephenson County officials are asking certain area taxing bodies to abate property taxes for the EcoGrove wind farm project for approximately three years, as part of an effort to ensure the initiative's financial viability. While these taxing bodies would lose money in the short term, they would make a considerable amount of funding once the wind farm is up and running and if the project continues to expand, officials said.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has declined to give an opinion about the legality of expanding a jointly-owned enterprise zone in Tazewell County, State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz said Friday. Umholtz requested an opinion from Madigan's office several months ago ...But Umholtz said the issue isn't quite over for him. "This is an issue of statewide importance," he said. "I'm still trying to encourage state government to follow state law."
The request was submitted by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC., which has constructed 66 wind turbines in the Grand Ridge Wind Farm project south of Marseilles, Seneca and Ottawa, and plans to place 200 more turbines in the area. The approximately 17.5-acre E-Zone extends from south of Ottawa to Marseilles and Seneca in La Salle County, and east through Grundy County to Morris.
[Stewart] Umholtz, Tazewell County state's attorney, last week said he will pursue legal action against his own County Board's decision to extend an existing enterprise zone, allowing a wind farm development to be eligible for a sales tax abatement. He seeks an Illinois Attorney General's Office opinion on the matter. One of the points Umholtz disagrees with is the issuance of a 3-foot extension many local governments, including the city of Peoria and Tazewell County, utilize to extend their enterprise zones.
In Tazewell we detect something more to the spat between the state's attorney and some County Board members than just a difference of professional opinion. While we're none too keen on one part of local government suing another - attorneys win, taxpayers lose - Umholtz is on the right side of this issue by taking his stand on principle. ...the everybody-does-it defense employed by some Tazewell board members is a cop-out for those who know they're on shaky ground but want to rationalize a "yes" vote. Sorry, but these elected officials can read and comprehend the law.