Although wind farms have economic advantages such as school districts, towns and the county receiving annual funds through a PILOT program, some say wind farms also have their economic disadvantages.
Henry Crofoot, an opponent of wind farms, sees economic problems down the road if local officials don’t use the money pouring in from the wind farms correctly.
“I hope the officials look ahead to when there isn’t as much revenue and use the funds now for big projects,” said Crofoot.
Crofoot said that he hopes officials won’t use the incoming money for things day-to-day operations.
“Taxes will go through the roof down the road if that happens,” said Crofoot.
He thinks taxes will go down, which is good in the short term he said, but he said the jump in the long term will hurt taxpayers. He also thinks that when government subsidies quit, the wind farm operators may follow suit.
“We need long term planning,” said Crofoot.
Sue Brander of Advocates of Stark and also a wind farm opponent, sees several other economic disadvantages.
Brander sees the wind farms as a federal tax scam.
She said the federal policies were designed by Jeffry Skilling, the former Chief Financial Officer for Enron, who is now in jail.
The 68-turbine project proposed for the Stark, Jordanville, Warren area would cost approximately $136 million. Under the current system, the owner of the project can deduct 64 percent of the investment in two years, which comes out to $96 million.
Brander said that Congress needs to review these laws and change them because investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs, are buying them just for the tax write off.
She also sees an economic disadvantage for real estate value.
Brander said that although some developers and market analysts have said property prices would not go down, properties up for sale around wind farms see less interest than homes away from wind farms.
“It is all supply and demand, and people are seeing losses in their real estate value,” said Brander.
She also thinks that the wind farms could have a serious impact on the Van Hornesville Fish Hatchery, which currently produces around 200,000 fingerling and 100,000 yearling rainbow trout annually for use in Department of Environmental Conservation’s statewide fisheries management program.
Construction of the turbines could pollute the hatchery’s water supply and cause a potential danger to the hatchery and the DEC’s program, according to Brander.
By Eric Monnat
Telegram Staff Writer
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding