Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Maine
Will Freedom get the tax relief it has wanted all along? What will happen to our taxes next year when, for the first time, the turbine values are added to the school district assessment, increasing Freedom's share of the school budget, while reducing state aid to education? The answers are painfully obvious.
After a half-hour public hearing and another 30 minutes of discussion, 62 percent of the residents in attendance decided to accept the deal that would grant them a significant amount of money for development items.
Former Gov. Angus King, one of the two principals in the project, said Monday afternoon that the U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee program was expanded to renewable energy projects, such wind and solar, when the nation's banking difficulties began several years ago. Although he declined to say the amount he and Rob Gardiner, the other principal in the project, are asking to be federally guaranteed, he did say that the company must have a "significant amount of equity and cash."
Selectmen have set a special meeting with a representative of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group LLC for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the town office to continue gathering information on the tax implications of a possible wind turbine project.
On Monday night, selectmen voted to reject a new, lower value for a commercial wind project, in effect declining the developer's request to reduce the value of its property by $1.4 million. If the developer, Beaver Ridge Wind LLC, wishes to pursue the issue further, it may have to file an appeal with Waldo County Commissioners or the State Board of Property Tax Review.
The town of Freedom is seeking an independent appraisal of the three-turbine Beaver Ridge Wind development following a request from the owner to have them reassessed at a lower value. Freedom - Two years after the wind turbines on Beaver Ridge in Freedom started turning, the often-controversial development is raising objections again - this time from the developer.
People who live in the unorganized territories of Somerset County will not see millions of dollars worth of economic development projects in the coming years. ...Commissioners have been hesitant to support the commercial wind project and associated TIF, pointing to what they believe will be negative impacts on tourism and the landscape.
Millions of dollars for economic development in unorganized territories may have disappeared with the clicking of the "send" button on a recent e-mail to Somerset County Commissioners. Wind power developer First Wind has asked commissioners to delay deciding whether to form a tax-increment financing district.
Residents of nearby towns and townships questioned the economic benefit and cautioned that the project would come at the expense of people's health, the landscape and the abundance of animals. Commissioners voted to look into hiring a consultant to look into the pros and cons of a tax-increment financing district.
The three elected commissioners asked First Wind officials on Wednesday night to provide them at future meetings with information about the number of jobs that could be created. They also wanted to know whether the creation of a tax-incremental financing district would cause the county as a whole to lose revenue.
Doug Rooks is correct about at least one thing (May 9). There is a growing backlash to industrial-scale wind turbines on Maine's mountains. People who care about Maine's present and future are refusing to roll over for the short-term interests of the wind industry and its largely unfounded claims.
Big wind developers receive substantial federal funds and whether they ought to or not is a major bone of contention as more wind farms pop up in Maine. The arguments from both sides of the issue go something like: Pro: Lots of other energy sources (coal, oil, nuclear) are subsidized, too. Con: Wind, given the size, gets more than its fair share. Pro: Subsidies are important to jump-start the industry. Con: If it can't stand on its own, tough. It shouldn't stand at all.
A bill to clarify what wind energy developers should pay communities that host wind projects has received unanimous support from the Legislature's Utilities and Energy Committee. A wind energy project now can earn swifter approval from regulators if a developer provides "significant tangible benefits" to a community. That language is too vague, said Pete Didisheim, advocacy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Townspeople can learn the impact of a tax-incentive financing program for a proposed wind farm when a consultant presents information at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at Ludden Memorial Library. The board hired Eaton Peabody Consulting Group of Augusta in January to help decide whether it would be to the town's advantage to enter into a TIF.
As the debate over wind farms intensifies in towns across Maine, state lawmakers are considering a proposal that would guarantee minimum tax payments to communities near the enormous and oftentimes controversial turbines. The legislation aims to remove some of the unpredictability of negotiations between energy developers and local officials weighing the financial benefits.
A bill currently being discussed in the Utilities and Energy Committee would set a fee that wind power project developers must pay into the communities or counties that host their projects. Already, developers pay property taxes on their wind projects and often negotiate other community benefit payments. This bill would require developers to pay a constituent amount in every community.
Selectmen on Monday unanimously authorized Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky to sign a letter of agreement with a consulting firm that would provide information on tax incentive financing for wind farm development. ...Prior to the board's decision, resident Colleen Martineau said the town didn't need a consultant, but someone from the state to explain, at no cost, tax incentive financing. "It's a nightmare what's happening in Roxbury. You're going down the same road."
The romantic view of wind power is a stand of wind turbines atop a ridge gently spinning in a breeze generating clean electricity in place of an emission-producing power plant. Another view is a natural landscape defaced by huge structures whose operation annoys its neighbors, produces power randomly and does not reduce pollutants because fossil-fueled plants continue to operate as backup. The "pop" culture support and promotion of wind power is all based upon conceptual or theoretical constructs which do not reflect the physical, financial or regulatory realities of operating our electric grid system.
Freedom residents wondering how their taxes could have gone up this year despite a new $10 million wind development crowded into the Dirigo Grange Hall Sept. 30 expecting to have questions answered by an official from the Property Tax Division of the Maine Revenue Service. But the official never turned up, and the meeting that followed was fraught with speculation, suspicion and accusations, mostly to do with the wind turbines.
Franklin County can expect to get $200,000 a year for 20 years to use for economic development in the unorganized territory in the tax break deal struck with the owner of the Kibby Wind Power Project going up near the Canadian border. This week, county commissioners moved forward on their plans to have Greater Franklin Development Corporation administer that annual amount.