I still believe that any further consideration of a Jefferson County Industrial Development Corporation PILOT for industrial wind would be a sweet deal for corporations like British Petroleum and Iberdrola and a raw deal for the local taxing jurisdictions who would be foolish enough to agree to those tax breaks.
Although I am often singled out as Jefferson County's Head Nimby and anti-wind whack job, I am certainly not the only person in the world who believes that the normal way of awarding local tax incentives does not apply to the massive industrial wind developments that severely impact entire towns. Hell, even the proposed abomination on Galloo Island will severely change the character of shoreline homes along the Golden Crescent of Lake Ontario. And Upstate Power will never pay enough for the damage they will do.
According to a Kate Hessling, Huron Daily Tribune article, " Local governments are working under a tight deadline to develop a plan to substantiate what they believe are true taxable values for wind turbine developments."
Now what is important about this is that, in my town of Cape Vincent, Voters for Wind have been perfectly happy to let their new best friends, British Petroleum, decide what their turbines are worth and how much they want to dole out to the community that they want to crap up with their super-sized turbines.
In her article, Kate Hessling explains how Michigan is addressing wind turbines' taxable values:
|Would you sign a Good Neighbor Policy|
with these men?
Wind companies pay personal property taxes for wind developments, and the taxable values are established by the Michigan Tax Commission. Those values — and, as a result, the amount of personal property taxes wind developers pay counties, local townships, schools and libraries — decrease each year because of depreciation. And, per an October ruling by the state commission, there will be a larger than previously established drop in values this year.
The county expects the decreased values will mean a roughly $260,000 loss in revenue from local wind developments this year, said Huron County Commissioner Ron Wruble.
What local officials — as well as officials from other areas of the state experiencing wind energy development — want to know is what information the state commission used to determine a decrease is necessary. Though two attempts have been made to obtain that information via Michigan Freedom of Information Act requests, the requested information still is unavailable, said Mike Krause, member of the Thumb Regional Renewable Energy Collaborative (TRREC).
In light of the immediacy of the situation, where counties will lose at least 20 percent of revenue from local wind developments, officials are focusing on proceeding with their own study of true cash valuations rather than waiting to get the information from the FOIA requests, Krause said. He said they have until early March to develop a plan substantiating what values they believe are correct because that’s when assessments are presented to townships.
As we all know, industrial wind has a lot to hide and they have hid it well.
Why else would it be necessary for a company like British Petroleum to sneak into town, make secret deals with secret contracts and be less than forthcoming with what they are paying the lease holders and good neighbors who have agreed to sell them our town?