Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Pennsylvania
Consequently, Iberdrola's $18,000 contribution offer to Mahanoy Township for its Locust Ridge wind energy facility represents less than 12 percent of the national average payment made by windplant owners to local jurisdictions. Furthermore, Mahanoy is getting about half of the low-end range of payment for a wind energy project ($750 per MW vs. $1,400 per MW), which is roughly seven percent of the top-end payment to local communities from wind energy project owners ($750 per MW vs. $11,000 per MW).
Locust Ridge Wind Farm owner Joe Green, of Shenandoah, would like the Mahanoy Township Board of Supervisors to give him a tax break on his wind energy enterprise. He would even be willing to give the township a share of his profits in exchange for a break in taxes. Tax law, however, prohibits local government from agreeing not to tax somebody. That's the legislature's job, according to township Solicitor Victoria Edwards.
But so far Mahanoy Township government has realized nothing in the way of substantial tax income from its wind farm. "The government came out with a thing at the end of the year (saying) that they can't be taxed on their real estate value," Stevens told the Schuylkill County commissioners last Wednesday. "So we're looking at the energy they produce," Stevens added. "That's the only way we can go."
A Mahanoy Township supervisor is asking Schuylkill County commissioners for help in finding out how to get tax revenue from a wind farm. Supervisor Vice Chairman James Stevens on Wednesday told commissioners the county, township and Mahanoy Area School District have seen no tax revenue from Green Energy Products Inc., which began operating in November 2006.
Hybrid vehicles are getting a push from Gov. Ed Rendell. So are solar and wind power, biofuels and renewable energy. The governor yesterday made $31.4 million in grants available to help businesses, municipalities, organizations and individuals develop and use clean technology, energy and alternative fuels.
When a group of passionate windmill opponents took their message before Somerset County commissioners, Commissioner Brad Cober said the county can do little to stop turbine development. But he had this bit of advice for wind-power opponents: Urge elected officials to stop federal tax credits for wind power.
Owners of wind farms stand to gain from a little-noticed bill passed last month that exempts wind-turbine equipment from local property taxes. The big winner was FPL Energy, which owns five wind farms in Pennsylvania, including one in Wayne County that was the subject of tax litigation.
The state Public Utility Commission yesterday picked a California company to monitor compliance with a 2004 state law that requires electric utilities to purchase a certain amount of renewable energy. Clean Power Markets Inc. won the contract on a 4-0 vote, but not before several commissioners expressed discomfort with potential conflicts of interest in the small, but growing renewable energy industry.
Renewable energy sources are a great hope for the future. But there is a time and place for everything. The time for the construction of wind power facilities is after environmental impact studies. The place is anywhere away from people and off of ridge-tops.
Commissioners said they will not change the ordinance, which they say balances the rights of property owners who are opposed to windmills with those who want to lease their land to turbine developers. Officials laid the blame on state and federal tax incentives for the wind industry. “If you want to stop them, take away the federal subsidies,” Commissioner Brad Cober said.
When it comes to taxing wind farms in Pennsylvania, two approaches have been used. Somerset County assesses the 16 wind turbines at the Meyersdale Wind Farm for tax purposes. That method, which may or may not be what state law and court decisions require, assesses only the ground on which a wind turbine sits, not the turbine itself. A method used by Wayne County in the northeastern corner of the state is to assess the 43 turbines at the Waymart Wind Farm. It places a value on some, but not all, of the turbines. FPL Energy, a division of Florida Power & Light Co., owns both wind farms.
This is a comprehensive, well documented and thoughtful presentation on a wide range of industrial wind issues by Dan Boone, Consulting Conservation Biologist, at the public meeting held by Save Our Allegheny Ridges in Bedford, PA on September 18, 2006
Proposal to increase use of alternative energy is deemed too expensive by officials. MARPLE TWP. - Despite the upcoming "ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day" on Oct. 4, the outlook for cleaner, renewable energy in Marple looks a little dim. A resolution promising that by 2010 the township would purchase 20 percent of its electricity from higher-priced sources - such as wind, solar and farm methane -was defeated by a vote of 4-3 Monday.
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell is urging municipalities to participate in small-scale wind-energy projects throughout the state to reduce the state´s dependence on imported energy.
HONESDALE - FPL Energy is seeking a change in the way its wind farms are taxed, by taxing the energy produced rather than the property.
Two Somerset County green energy projects got a push Wednesday with a chunk of the state’s $8.6 million funding for clean energy.
WAYNE COUNTY - The Wayne County Commissioners' meeting on Tuesday quickly switched over to the Board of Assessments and Revision of Taxes to hear an assessment appeal from the Waymart Wind Farm, L.P. for their 2006 taxes.
"These projects are very expensive and wouldn't happen without tax subsidies," he [Glenn Schleede] said. "Ordinary taxpayers are getting taken to the cleaners on this."