Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Wyoming
Poor wind farmers, they say if they are taxed it will kill their industry. I say so be it, let it wither and die, the wind industry is so heavily subsidized that it cannot stand on its own. We do not have state income tax, because oil, gas, and coal pay so much in taxes. Wind energy equals higher taxes, does that make anyone feel better?
A proposal in Wyoming to impose the nation's first state excise tax on wind energy production is generating debate over how the state should handle the arrival of massive wind farms to its wind-swept plains and plateaus. Gov. Dave Freudenthal made the wind energy tax a centerpiece of his legislative agenda, drawing surprise and alarm from some in the state's fledgling wind industry.
Gov. Dave Freudenthal is pushing several bills to regulate the wind energy industry. Chief among them are a $3 per megawatt hour excise tax, and a temporary suspension of eminent domain powers to "merchant" energy companies that want to connect wind turbines to the electrical grid.
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal said he's working with lawmakers on a proposal for the upcoming Legislature to tax wind energy production. Freudenthal's pursuit of a wind tax bill follows a November vote by the Joint Revenue Committee against sponsoring two bills to tax wind energy generation. The governor said a wind tax would level the playing field.
I do agree that "those" windmills are not contributing to our demand for Mideast oil or to "wild-eyed killers" simply because the percentage of electricity produced in the United States by oil is in the single digits. The production of electricity with the power of the wind has no relevance to oil.
Wyoming lawmakers will soon take up the thorny issue of whether to impose new taxes on wind energy development, a proposal that developers say could stunt the fledgling industry's growth in Wyoming. Supporters of a new tax say it's only fair for wind projects to contribute to state and local governments equal to other energy industries. Opponents say Wyoming taxes are already high compared to surrounding states and any new tax would be premature. The Joint Revenue Committee will consider two proposals to tax wind electricity generation at a Wednesday meeting in Cheyenne.
Wind developers are bracing against draft legislation that would impose a tax on the generation of wind energy in the state ...Rather than creating a tax specifically on wind energy, lawmakers are considering a tax on all electrical generation, then providing tax credits or exemptions to all other forms of generation but wind. The purpose for this strategy is to fit within the state's constitution, which prohibits singling out a particular industry for exclusive taxation.
Wind farms generate a lot of electricity, but not a large number of permanent jobs once the construction phase is over. And although the projects are desirable because they use an abundant renewable natural resource, the only significant revenue the units are generating in Wyoming at this point is through property taxes in the counties where they are located. Their property tax bills so far are modest.
Sales tax exemptions designed to encourage alternative energy development in Wyoming may be hurting local communities' ability to cope with the impacts. But the tax incentives are also bringing such projects to Wyoming, and communities should consider the long-term benefits, including good jobs and new opportunities, a state lawmaker says. The tax exemption "sunset" date was extended from 2008 to June 2012 during last year's legislative session. Companies building alternative energy projects, such as wind farms, enjoy an exemption from paying sales taxes on materials during construction. ...Despite the potential long-term benefits, proposals such as the Glenrock-area wind farms have up-front costs communities have to shoulder, including bringing roads up to par and increasing some social service and law enforcement programs. Usually, increases in sales taxes boost local governments' coffers as projects take hold.
DOUGLAS -- The monetary impact on Converse County of a proposed wind project in Glenrock may be realized as soon as construction starts through impact assistance payments from the state Department of Environmental Quality's industrial siting division. From that division, Tom Schroeder prepared the county commissioners Tuesday for what he said could be a "fast and furious" process as Rocky Mountain Power files its application for an industrial siting permit this fall. In conjunction with the permit, the state Industrial Siting Council will decide what sort of money it should approve for the county as impact assistance fees. State permits are required for all projects with construction costs of $163 million or more. The council evaluates the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the construction work on communities before issuing construction permits. The assistance fees are intended to help communities address impacts.