Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Maine

Freedom turbines not as valuable as originally thought; Town grants abatement; bump in school assessment looms

The effect of the turbines on EPS meant that the full extent of the tax break from the Beaver Ridge development would last only until the state assessments caught up. After that, Freedom would most likely be asked to shoulder a larger portion of the local school district's operating costs, cutting into the tax break for residents.
19 Jan 2012

Mandates on renewable power raised prices

The Maine Public Utility Commission's analysis showed that the first two years of the increased renewable energy mandate added $7 million to Maine ratepayer's electric bills. Rather than continue the automatic increases to the renewable energy source mandate, we think there is a better approach by allowing consumer choice while still supporting renewable energy development.
21 May 2011

Freedom provides wind power lesson

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.
29 Apr 2011

Record Hill looking for federal guarantee on its loan

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."
22 Feb 2011

Freedom selectmen reject tax request for wind 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.
2 Feb 2011

Wind developer asks Freedom for abatement, revaluation

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.
31 Jan 2011

Somerset commissioners vote down tax boon; First Wind vows to continue effort to build wind farm

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.
20 Jan 2011

Somerset County officials hear wind proposal

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.
21 Oct 2010

The Economics of Wind: Subsidies - the why and how much.

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.
12 Apr 2010

Bill puts payments at $4,000 per turbine

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.
20 Mar 2010

TIF info session set

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.
17 Feb 2010

Bill could aid towns near turbines

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.
25 Jan 2010

Making wind pay localities

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.
20 Jan 2010

Board OKs tax incentive financing consulting pact

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."
25 Nov 2009

Wind power too expensive and unreliable to invest in right now

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.
19 Oct 2009
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