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Who Will Pay Sheffield's Tax Bonanza?

To begin with, UPC would have absolutely no interest in wind energy if they weren't in line to receive enormous tax subsidies to do it. Wind energy from Vermont ridgelines hasn't a possibility of being produced at competitive prices with even the most expensive of traditional energy sources. Without the subsidies, wind energy in Vermont is an economic joke.

UPC Vermont Wind announced two weeks ago, with a lot of hoopla, that they would pay the town of Sheffield between $400,000 and $550,000 annually to be allowed to build 20 wind turbines on Sheffield's ridge lines. Their announcement was designed to anticipate shouts of "HOORAY!!" from Sheffieldites who would see UPC's largesse as a bonanza of tax relief.

They did get some hoorays. But before they look for the Second Coming, they ought to take a closer look at the realities of this payoff. Frankly, it looks more like a bribe than an honest quid pro quo.

To begin with, UPC would have absolutely no interest in wind energy if they weren't in line to receive enormous tax subsidies to do it. Wind energy from Vermont ridgelines hasn't a possibility of being produced at competitive prices with even the most expensive of traditional energy sources. Without the subsidies, wind energy in Vermont is an economic joke.

Next, UPC announced that its payments would reduce Sheffield's tax bill by 55 percent. In the tiny print, UPC said, "municipal tax bill." In their euphoria, the turbine addicts didn't notice that the reduction was only to the municipal tax bill, not the school tax bill, too. Combining them, a Sheffield tax bill will be... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

UPC Vermont Wind announced two weeks ago, with a lot of hoopla, that they would pay the town of Sheffield between $400,000 and $550,000 annually to be allowed to build 20 wind turbines on Sheffield's ridge lines. Their announcement was designed to anticipate shouts of "HOORAY!!" from Sheffieldites who would see UPC's largesse as a bonanza of tax relief.

They did get some hoorays. But before they look for the Second Coming, they ought to take a closer look at the realities of this payoff. Frankly, it looks more like a bribe than an honest quid pro quo.

To begin with, UPC would have absolutely no interest in wind energy if they weren't in line to receive enormous tax subsidies to do it. Wind energy from Vermont ridgelines hasn't a possibility of being produced at competitive prices with even the most expensive of traditional energy sources. Without the subsidies, wind energy in Vermont is an economic joke.

Next, UPC announced that its payments would reduce Sheffield's tax bill by 55 percent. In the tiny print, UPC said, "municipal tax bill." In their euphoria, the turbine addicts didn't notice that the reduction was only to the municipal tax bill, not the school tax bill, too. Combining them, a Sheffield tax bill will be reduced by only 9 percent, a fact pointed out in this paper last week. To quote Kurt Vonnegut, it was a drum roll followed by a sparrow fart. And for that, Sheffield gets 20 Star Wars monsters all over its ridgelines.

And who is going to pay for Sheffield's tax relief? Certainly not UPC. They are getting half of their expenses and all of their profits from the proposed wind turbines from our tax dollars. We, THE TAXPAYERS, are paying for this tax relief for Sheffield and any other community that buys this snake oil.

A long time ago, a biblical brother traded his birthright for a mess of pottage. If Sheffield goes for this scam, we hope they don't choke on their pottage.

fontainer@caledonian-record.com


Source: http://www.caledonianrecord...

JUL 10 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3448-who-will-pay-sheffield-s-tax-bonanza
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