- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Study: Too many tax breaks for wind farms

Texans are paying too much to attract major economic development projects, particularly farms of wind-powered electric generators, according to a study by the Texas comptroller’s office.

A state law allows school districts to provide tax incentives to recruit such projects. Those breaks have helped the state to attract industries with significant employment, Comptroller Susan Combs wrote, but it has also been “increasingly used to over-incentivize projects that create few or no jobs.”

About two-thirds of the 98 projects that have won the tax breaks are so-called wind farms, the Austin American-Statesman reported in Sunday’s editions.

Sixty-three such projects have received tax breaks averaging almost $1.6 million each, compared with just over $166,000 per manufacturing project and just over $51,000 per research and development project, according to the report.

The report shows that the cost per job is 40 times what the state spends on projects that earn grants from the governor’s Texas Enterprise Fund.

It also states that wind farms are getting a disproportionate share of tax benefits – about 38 percent of the total tax benefits awarded, despite having just about 25 percent of the capital investment and 8 percent of the 6,239 jobs promised, according to the American-Statesman.

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