The Floyd County Board of Supervisors plan to put an ordinance into place offering tax incentives to new wind energy operations.
A wind energy ordinance was discussed during the Supervisors’ regular meeting on Tuesday and during a workshop on Monday.
“We plan on developing an ordinance in case anybody wants to come in and build a wind farm,” said Supervisor Leo Staudt.
While the ordinance is still in the works, it would offer tax relief to new wind farms or turbines moving into Floyd County. Wind energy producers would receive a tax exemption on a 20-year, sliding scale. In the first year of operation, the owner would be taxed on zero percent of the net acquisition costs, adding five percent until year seven, when the rate would stay at 30 percent.
“I think our concern is Floyd County is a little behind the curve compared to surrounding counties,” said Larry Tjaden. “With a push for renewable fuels, Iowa’s a good place to be. Floyd County might be a good place.”
Tjaden, with son Scott and brother Dean, built a wind turbine on their property near Colwell in the fall of 2005.
The wind energy ordinance was looked into previously by the Supervisors, but voted down. The Board agreed to look into the issue again if anyone was interested in creating a wind farm.
The Tjaden family asked the Board to revisit the issue recently, after learning the tax exemption had not passed.
“If the the Board passes the ordinance, I don’t know that it’s going to do (Tjadens) any good, because it’s after the fact. It definitely would be helpful for anyone looking into putting a wind farm up,” said County Assessor Bruce Hovden during the workshop.
He said that the ordinance could not be retroactive to include turbines already completed.
“That’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth,” Larry Tjaden said.
Hovden said that a 5-year, 100-percent tax exemption is included in the Iowa Code for wind energy producers that sell directly to a consumer. This exemption is applicable even if the county does not have a wind energy ordinance.
Because Tjaden’s sell their power to Dairyland Cooperative in La Crosse, Wis., they do not qualify for the 5-year exemption.
The Supervisors were asked by a local designer working on a wind energy project when he could expect an ordinance to be in place so his project could qualify for the tax relief.
A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is set for 10 a.m. on Feb. 13 in the boardroom at the Floyd County Courthouse.
By Staci Schwickerath, Staff writer
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