Demmer wind energy bill goes to governor
- Jun 16, 2016 12:06 am GMT
A wind energy bill sponsored by state Rep.
Senate Bill 2612 will renew the process by which wind energy devices are assessed for property taxes. The bill extends the law that was scheduled to sunset
Demmer said the bill is important for the wind industry and local taxing bodies. Before legislation first was passed in 2007 to streamline the process, costly and time-consuming legal challenges were not uncommon.
"This takes some of the guesswork out of establishing a tax base on generating power," Demmer said. "It provides predictability not just for investors, but for local governments looking to them for revenue."
Demmer's district produces 462 megawatts of wind power, and each megawatt generates between
The most recent estimate of the total taxes paid by
In 2004, when the state's first wind farm became operational in
The inconsistencies among the taxing counties continued for a few more years, and momentum grew for establishing a state standard. While some thought
"Many counties had no precedent, and it ended up being argued in the courts, which was in no one's best interest," Ryerson said.
As the first to deal with the situation, Ryerson said she became more involved in the state's efforts to streamline the process.
"I had ours in place, and I was afraid of how the state's standard could affect us," Ryerson said.
In 2007, the state Legislature passed the first bill to get all counties on the same page, and it was loosely based on the formula used in
Ryerson said, in retrospect, the original tax rate set up for wind turbines in
"I think it brought everyone together at the table, and built consensus among developers and assessors," Ryerson said.
The final consideration was how to account for construction cost inflation. That problem was solved by adding a 4 percent annual depreciation adjustment, and an appreciation alteration based on the consumer price index.
While the budget impasse makes it difficult to celebrate any legislative victory, Demmer said the wind energy bill addresses a common business concern in the state.
"This is a small issue in the state now, but it fits in with a theme we hear a lot," Demmer said. "We're looking for ways to support business and local government, and predictability seems to be the number one concern."
Demmer's legislation was supported by the
See the bill
Visit shawurl.com/2nmo for the entire bill and its path through the Legislature.
(c)2016 the Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.)
Visit the Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.) at www.saukvalley.com
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