What About Tax Revenues?

Duke Energy has been touting many purported turbine-related benefits for Reading Township. One of the biggest is the tax revenue that will be generated by the turbines once they’re in place. This benefit was certainly something the citizens of Converse County, Wyoming took into account when they agreed to let Duke come in and build turbines there. Here’s what ended up happening:

“Based on Duke’s testimony to the [Wyoming Industrial Siting Council,] Converse County officials expected to recieve $2.8 million in property taxes per year and $13 million over the next five years. Then the state’s calculation agreed.

But now the company believes it owes about half as much as it previously estimated, according to documents Duke submitted to the State Board of Equalization.”

Duke and Converse County ultimately settled on a figure of $2.5 million in property taxes for 2010, but in their own press release, Duke officials said they would “continue their dialogue on wind farm property tax assessments.” It cost Converse County $300,000 for 2010; it will almost certainly cost more going forward.

The lesson for Reading Townshp? We can’t take Duke’s tax revenue projections at face value. As a corporate entity, Duke will do their best to pay the lowest amount possible. Will they give the citizens of Reading Township a tax revenue guarantee?

(Once you click the link to the first article, note the photo of one of Duke’s current turbine installations — you’ll see that it’s out in the middle of nowhere, with no houses, buildings, farms, etc. nearby. It’s a much different landscape from Hillsdale County — and one that we’d argue is far more appropriate for industrial sized wind turbines.)

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