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Wind farm developer asking to be in enterprise zone to save on taxes  

A Wind farm developer has asked Logan County officials to extend the Lincoln-Logan County Enterprise Zone to their site in an effort to help save taxes on the project.

Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy is planning to construct 29 wind turbine towers in Eminence Township in northern Logan County. If the area is in an enterprise zone, the developers will save money on sales taxes charges for materials related to the project.

The extension is expected to be approved at Tuesday’s County Board meeting. The Lincoln City Council does not need to vote on it because the change is outside city limits.

Bill Whitlock, director of project development for Horizon, told the County Board the request does not include another available enterprise zone benefit: a 10-year abatement on property taxes.

Board chairman Dick Logan said he supported the plan.

“If the Horizon structures are in the enterprise zone, they can buy materials from other places in the state of Illinois without having to pay sales tax,” Logan said. “They are buying million-dollar parts and if they are in the enterprise zone, they would be saving a lot of money.”

Only a few supplies can be bought in Logan County, so the county would lose very little sales tax income, Logan said.

“They just want to take advantage of the sales tax break,” he said. “They are not trying to take advantage of our county.”

Horizon will be paying county permit fees of nearly $8,000 for each tower.

The wind farm is planned for the area called Union Ridge, east of Interstate 155. The turbines will be north of Union and south of Illinois 122 in Tazewell County.

The Logan County Regional Planning Commission already has approved the request.

By Kevin Barlow

Bloomington Pantagraph

13 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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