Randall County commissioners took the first step to eventually allow tax abatements in the county – specifically for a wind power company.
Chermac Energy Corp. President Jaime McAlpine, who is working to develop a wind farm in Randall County, worked out guidelines for tax abatements, and Assistant Criminal District Attorney Richard Gore reviewed them before bringing them to commissioners Tuesday.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean Chermac Energy will receive an abatement on its project that will span three counties. County Judge Ernie Houdashell said the county still will have to work out an agreement with the company.
Gore said abatements could vary on how much in taxes the company would have to pay.
“Whatever a governing body can agree to with a developer is permissible.
“The statute does limit it to a time of 10 years,” Gore said.
Most counties grant abatements on a sliding scale, so a company would not have to pay a certain percentage of its property taxes for a set number of years, Gore said.
The approved guidelines require a project to add at least $150,000 to the tax roll and be a positive net economic benefit to the county of at least $250,000.
McAlpine said his project will generate 480 megawatts of energy, a majority of it within Randall County. During construction the project will add 120 jobs and 15 to 20 jobs when the project is online, McAlpine said.
The next steps require the county to establish a reinvestment zone and then develop an actual agreement with Chermac Energy.
Gore said he thinks the reinvestment zone will be established at the next meeting on May 22 or in June.
There was no discussion on what kind of specific abatements would be granted.
By Sean Thomas
9 May 2007
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