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Wind farm tax bill passed  

The state Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee passed a bill Tuesday that would relieve commercial wind farms of paying property taxes and instead require a form of excise tax – a “production tax” – through 3 percent of their annual gross revenue.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, on behalf of Ridgeline Energy, a wind power company seeking to expand in Idaho, recently passed the House.

Supporters said the owners of the turbines rarely have enough money to pay property taxes immediately. The law would give them additional time by taxing their energy output, as well as offer investors a chance to make steadier payments and provide counties up to 10 percent more money for 20 years.

The idea is that property taxes are determined from market value, which will force the property value to decrease over time. The production tax, meanwhile, would always reflect the turbines’ current value.

Animal products fee bill has been tabled

Amid concerns over whether regulations should be enacted to simply raise funds, the state Senate Agricultural Affairs Comm-ittee tabled a bill Thursday that would require a fee for registering animal remedy products, including pharmaceuticals and veterinary products.

The committee will vote Thursday on the legislation, House Bill 205, which is proposed by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Finding a need to stabilize livestock disease control while the cost of doing so rises, the agency wants to charge manufacturers when registering their products.

Each product used in-state would be charged about $50, with expectations to generate $200,000. Current law requires registration, but is free of charge.


7 March 2007

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