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State Senate passes bill on standard windfarm tax

Wind farm developers soon could get a boost in their efforts to build large collections of windmills in locations across Illinois.

A state Senate panel Monday voted 9-0 on a plan that would standardize how the giant windmills are taxed for the next five years.

Now, counties can vary on how they assess the value of the turbines for local taxing purposes.

That can mean a guessing game for developers trying to plan for the costs of operating a wind farm.

“They want to be able to plan for their growth and development,” said state Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley.

The measure now moves to the full Senate and would need House approval.

It’s attached to a controversial measure dealing with

high property taxes in Cook County.

The Cook County part of the plan likely could get more attention from lawmakers in the coming days, leaving the fate of the wind farm proposal linked to it.

Mautino says developers have more than $1 billion in wind-farm developments planned across the state.

They’re all in various stages of planning, and include a 100-turbine farm on the border of McLean and Woodford counties, 373 windmills in Livingston County and 42 near El Paso. The legislation is House Bill 664.

By Mike Riopell

pantagraph.com

6 August 2007