Guest Column: Know the facts before you sign!

From Informed Farmer’s Coalition

The Money Facts

Wind plants lower property values

“At present time, anecdotal data indicates that wind turbines have a depressing effect on nearby land values and are a drag on the ag real estate market. Most recent anecdotal data from Illinois indicates that assessed value on farmland is dropping approximately 22-30 percent on farmland that is near land where wind turbines have been placed.”

*Source—Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, “Wind Energy Production: Legal Issues and Related Liability Concerns for Landowners in Iowa and Across the Nation.”

Wind power will generate beneficial local tax revenues for a very short amount of time.

The wind farm companies fail to mention there is a sundown provision of the tax statute on the taxes paid from the turbines. After 2011, wind farm companies will be able to state that turbines are personal property, and therefore not taxed as real estate. The turbine companies are known to claim that only the inexpensive cement slab (upon which the turbine is erected) should be assessed as real estate.

*Source– Hinshaw & Culbertson law office, Rockford, IL.

Your school district may not receive the tax money it is promised. The nearby Crescent Ridge wind farm has appealed the property tax payments to the school district, claiming only the concrete turbine base is taxable property

The wind farm’s tax assessment was based in 2005 and 2006 on the premise that 100 percent of the value of each wind farm structure was taxable property. Crescent Ridge appealed the county’s taxation decision, saying only the concrete foundation of each wind turbine should be taxed, which was a very small percentage of the value of the structure, which is comprised of a tower, nacelle and three rotor blades.

“The PES [Princeton Elementary School] agreement with Crescent Ridge gives the wind farm a total property tax credit from PES of $141,223 for the next three years, which means a tax reduction of about $47,074 for each of the years to PES.”

*Source—Bureau County Republican, Jan. 27, 2010

The Informed Farmers Coalition is a group of Lee County and Bureau County landowners and citizens whose goal is to spread awareness of all facts concerning wind farm development in the area.

From the June 22-28 issue

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