Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Texas
Texas has a commanding lead over other states in wind power production, as turbines supply 8 percent of the state grid's power. But the looming expiration of a federal tax credit jeopardizes the boom - and Texas' congressional delegation, for the most part, does not appear to be clamoring loudly to save it.
District Superintendent Christina Gutierrez said the school board has opposed tax incentives because economic losses from military cutbacks or closures could outweigh gains from the wind farm. The Kingsville base employed 597 military and 1,224 civilian personnel in 2010.
Trent ISD saw values plunge 35.1 percent, while values also slid for the city of Tye, Merkel ISD, the city of Buffalo Gap and Jim Ned Consolidated Independent School District. ...the changes have to do with wind turbines companies showing a tough business year. "The information that was brought to us by the wind turbine companies showed their income was down."
Keith Ellis, senior industrial and personal property appraiser, said there are several reasons wind farms and wind turbines have dropped in value. The price of electricity was low at the beginning of the year when values were set, he said, which means wind farms were not as profitable.
A wind farm of 160 megawatts only requires around seven maintenance workers after the horde of construction laborers leave. The comptroller's office criticizes the expense of those jobs, saying direct wind jobs are like "unicorns" and "mythical." "They bring in less jobs with the same capital investment as manufacturing," said Robert Wood, director of local government assistance and economic development at the Comptroller agency.
Abilene Superintendent Heath Burns said few school districts are negotiating property tax deals with industry these days because such plans cause the state's funding formula not to work well for the local school districts.
The Texas comptroller, not local school districts, should be in charge of negotiating school property tax breaks to businesses to attract large-scale investments such as manufacturing plants or wind farms, a new report by the Legislative Budget Board recommends.
According to a study from the Texas Comptrollers office, Texas spends too much to bring in windfarm contracts with little benefits. The Clay County Judge and Horn Wind -- the company in talks to construct the wind farm -- feel the study may be valid for the state but not for the county. In fact, the Vice President of the clean energy company says the wind farm will attract business to the county and will benefit every resident.
Texas is overpaying to lure major economic development projects, particularly wind farms, under a state law that allows school districts to grant tax breaks to recruit capital-intensive industries, a new study by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs concludes. Granting school property tax breaks has helped Texas attract manufacturing plants ...but the program "has increasingly been used to over-incentivize projects that create few or no jobs."
The Obama administration should bar a $1.5 billion wind-farm project in Texas from receiving U.S. government stimulus funds because most of the power turbines would be made in China, Senator Charles Schumer said. "The idea that stimulus funds would be used to create jobs overseas is quite troubling," Schumer, a New York Democrat, wrote in a draft of a letter he said yesterday he would send to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. ...Schumer said he would pursue legislation if necessary to prevent stimulus funds from being used for the Texas project.
A Democratic senator is calling on the Obama administration to reject an expected request for federal economic stimulus money as part of a $1.5 billion West Texas wind energy project because he says it will generate Chinese, not American, jobs. The U.S.-China venture, announced last week, would erect 240 huge Chinese-manufactured wind turbines on 36,000 acres in West Texas, with the Export-Import Bank of China committed to handle most of the financing.
News that $450 million in federal stimulus money might go toward installing Chinese-made wind turbines in Texas prompted criticism on Thursday, with Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, calling on the Obama administration to deny federal financing. According to partners in the deal, the proposed 600-megawatt wind farm, announced late last week, would be built on 36,000 acres in West Texas using 240 wind turbines manufactured by A-Power Energy Generation Systems of Shenyang, China.
Investment bankers are all aflutter with the onset of stimulus money for renewable energy projects according to the August 31 Wall Street Journal. After a long lag, numerous firms have again invested upwards of $100 million in wind farms. Investors are attracted by the quick returns made possible by the hefty federal grants and tax benefits. The growing subsidies for wind power mask wind's high cost and inherent limitations, but only for so long. ...Although appealing to many, wind power is an extremely expensive, inefficient, and unreliable source of electricity, incapable of providing base load power. Wind's intermittency, variability, line loss, necessary back-up generation, transmission needs, and dispatch complexity limit the amount of electricity wind can secure.
Members from DKR Wind, the company looking to build a windmill farm near Oilton, approached Commissioner's Court on how much tax abatement they are requesting. They are looking for a $280 thousand abatement over a ten year period.
Young County commissioners moved a step closer to reaching a tax abatement agreement with Gamesa Energy on Monday by creating a tax reinvestment zone. The zone is a necessary step toward an abatement agreement. Games has announced it plans to build a wind farm that would be mostly in Jack County with 12 turbines extending into Young County.
The renewable energy source is all the rage in Texas, growing by 60 percent last year alone. It's a fave of the federal government ...According to one federal estimate, wind generators get more than $23 in federal incentives for every megawatt they produce. That compares with 25 cents for natural gas, 44 cents for coal and $1.59 for nuclear power. ...Texas is also working on another state sweetener for wind - almost $5 billion of new transmission lines.
Property values are soaring in this West Texas community, and the reason is obvious. Looming on the northern horizon, hundreds of new wind turbines dot the once-barren hills. Ordinarily, much of the tax dollars generated by the turbines would go to the state's "Robin Hood" school finance plan, which requires property-rich districts to share their wealth with those less fortunate. But that won't happen in Sterling City, at least not if school officials have their way.
Young County commissioners formally approved a tax abatement agreement Monday with British Petroleum ...After months of negotiation, the final agreement guarantees between $83,333 and $350,000 a year in lieu of property taxes. The proposal also guarantees that if the farm is built, Young County will receive a minimum of 50 megawatts. If more turbines are placed in the county, the money paid will rise incrementally.
County commissioners paved the way Monday toward granting a tax abatement to wind power giant Duke Energy. ..."I didn't feel like it's a benefit to the citizens of Ector County," he said. Simmons said wind turbines deteriorate quickly, and chances are they won't be worth much once a 10-year abatement is up, leaving little to nothing to collect property tax off of. He also said there's no guarantee permanent jobs would be created in Ector County since the majority of the Notrees Windpower Project is located in Winkler County.
A proposed wind farm in northern Young County took a major step toward reality Monday when commissioners voted to approve a tax abatement plan for British Petroleum. After more than two hours of negotiations between BP and representatives from Young and Archer counties, Young County legal counsel Alan Carmichael announced an agreement had been reached.