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County looks to rope wind tax deal  

Credit:  Marshall White, St. Joseph News-Press, www.newspressnow.com 3 January 2011 ~~

MAYSVILLE, Mo. – Wind Capital Group’s Lost Creek wind farm could play a significant role in the finances for some DeKalb County tax districts this year.

“It would be nice to finally figure out where we’re going to be,” said Bruce Skoglund, the King City R-I School District’s superintendent and representative for all school districts on the Enhanced Enterprise Zone board created last year in DeKalb County.

Wind Capital has 98 wind turbine units up and operating south of King City and east of Union Star, said Ruth Ross, the DeKalb County assessor.

The assessor and her staff are completing a state-required review of all property in the county. At the present time, the only Wind Capital property being taxed in DeKalb County is miscellaneous machinery valued at about $1,370 and taxed about $85. The tentative date for mailing out new assessments looks to be mid to late March.

“It’s my understanding that the Missouri Tax Commission ruled the county agreement for a $600,000 PILOT-type fee (payment in lieu of taxes) wouldn’t work,” Ms. Ross said. “And there has been nothing signed off on by all the parties involved in the Enhanced Enterprise Zone. Therefore the county assessor’s office will seek to find a tax model that can be approved by the Missouri Tax Commission.”

At present, a tax effort in Gentry County seems to be working, she said. Using that model could generate an amount greater than $600,000, but the work hasn’t been completed yet, Ms. Ross said.

Wind Capital has a 27-turbine wind farm just north of King City in Gentry County that is taxed.

The King City R-1 School District currently gets about $300,000 a year from taxes on that wind farm, Mr. Skoglund said. The school district has an annual budget of about $4 million.

About 43 wind turbines in Lost Creek are south of King City and within the school district boundaries, Mr. Skoglund said.

“Another $300,000 or so would be nice especially in these economic times,” Mr. Skoglund said. “Especially, since the state isn’t fully funding the school formula.”

DeKalb County doesn’t have any property taxes and funds itself with sales taxes. Without some type of special agreement, the county couldn’t receive any tax monies collected for the wind farms.

The other major beneficiary of a tax agreement would be the Union Star School District. Several ambulance, fire, senior citizen, watershed and township districts would also receive tax monies from Lost Creek.

County officials suggest that it may be some time before any decision is reached.

After tax statements go out, Wind Capital would have 15 days to appeal to the assessor’s office, Ms. Ross said.

The county Board of Equalization meets in July. State arbitration meetings are in August. And if Wind Capital still isn’t satisfied, the tax case could end up in court.

Source:  Marshall White, St. Joseph News-Press, www.newspressnow.com 3 January 2011

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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