UPDATE: WIND DEVELOPER’S POSTER – Wind Power Director on taxing wind power – “of course it generates power and in that way it’s similar to a coal plant, but it’s fundamentally different from a coal plant. Because it’s intermittent …”

UPDATE:  WIND DEVELOPER’S POSTER – ORIGINAL POST TEXT FOLLOWS POSTER – From our friends in Ohio!

$400 million – much of it from taxpayers – for 130 MW Wind Plant

Cost of Wind Plant Poster

You heard it right:  “Wind Power Director on taxing wind power – “of course it generates power and in that way it’s similar to a coal plant, but it’s fundamentally different from a coal plant. Because it’s intermittent …

Interesting admission, don’t you think?  I heard similar commentary in Jon Boone’s excellent documentary, “Life Under a Windplant,” featured here a few days ago.  If you haven’t seen the documentary, you should take the time to do so.  Well worth a half hour of your time!

That comment in the documentary had to do with the portability of wind turbines which actually provided wind installation owners an additional tax advantage.  You might recall the lady in the documentary suggesting, by the same logic, perhaps her mobile home should be taxed at a much lower rate than other homes since it could be called temporary.  Sure, that’s gonna happen!

These are real life, after installation facts, folks – WAKE-UP!!!

The wind power folks want it both ways!!!  When they’re selling “we’ll be here forever” – when it comes to taxes “we’re a temporary structure.”  When they’re selling “we’re a reliable source of renewable energy” – when it comes to taxes “but we only produce intermittently.”  COME ON!  We’re not buying a second hand washing machine here, folks!  This is serious business.

Straight out of the Credence Clearwater Revival song:

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

You tell me … should the fact that wind turbines are portable and wind installations produce power intermittently give them tax breaks even beyond what they will already receive simply by being a commercial energy source?  They think so.  Unfortunately, our Politicians also roll under the same bus in the dream of “taxes and jobs.”  But as jobs don’t materialize for our citizens and the tax base erodes, what is left?  As one commenter questioned, “How can we elect such gullible lawmakers.  I am utterly embarrassed – and scared –  for America?”

The exchange which contained the quote at the title to this post was sent to us from a friend in Ohio.  What follows is the section of the article he felt important to our circumstance in Mineral County, WV.  The link to the full article follows the text.

Web Posted 10/16/2009 9:32:00 AM

Article :

Buckeye Wind representatives visited with the Champaign County Commission Thursday for an update on the proposal to site 70 turbines in the county and also spoke about revenue and other concerns.

Josh Hahn of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio spoke about tax implications of wind facilities based on current state law and proposed House Bill218, which would lower the tangible personal property tax rate from 24 percent to 12 percent for utilities generated by renewable resources such as wind and solar.

Hahn presented information from the Education Tax Policy Institute, noting that for a 100 megawatt (MW) wind generation facility, the total property value would be about $200 million with an average annual tangible personal property tax of $1.3 million based on a rate of 60 mills. The Buckeye Wind project, under development by New York-based Everpower Renewables, could be between 126 and 175 MW depending on the size of turbines installed.

“We don’t necessarily disagree with Josh,” said Michael Speerschneider, Everpower director of development. “It’s a difference of approach and perception. When we look at the tax structures in Ohio, we don’t really know how Ohio tax codes will treat wind.”

Commissioner Bob Corbett asked how much Champaign County could expect to receive in total tax revenue, based on current laws. Speerschneider said the socio-economic study presented as part of the Buckeye Wind application gives a range of $800,000 to $1.5 million annually.

“There’s direct benefits, what we’ll be paying to the county, the townships and the school districts,” he said.

“So if (HB) 218 would go through it would, in theory, cut it in half,” Corbett said of the revenue prediction.

Speerschneider said that the current law doesn’t allow Everpower to be competitive in the state of Ohio.

“The utility rate would apply to our equipment,” he said. “When you start doing that math, that number is higher than what is experienced in other states.”

He also explained that the electricity would not stay in Champaign County for local use.

“We’re selling our power,” he said. “It could very well be to Ohio power purchasers, (but) it’s more of a regional market. We are in competition with plants in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. The bigger picture of benefits is to keep that stuff in Ohio with supporting industry and jobs.”

“So you assumed in the beginning when you came in you would not be classified as a utility?” asked Commissioner Steve Hess.

“We did not assume anything,” Speerschneider replied. “We just did not know. The personal property tax for utilities would make them uncompetitive. That’s a big drop, a big reduction in tax revenue maybe because it’s a different type of industry. There are reasons why wind power – of course it generates power and in that way it’s similar to a coal plant, but it’s fundamentally different from a coal plant. Because it’s intermittent, that’s not to say it’s inefficient but it changes some of those dynamics.”

“Would the wind projects be viable if they weren’t receiving tax credits from the federal government?” asked Commissioner Max Coates.

“Straight off probably not,..

Full article here, for your convenience.

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