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Wind power — the complete picture

I have read with great interest the latest communication from the industrial wind turbine company Invenergy. After reading it one would think that there is an economic bonanza going on in Wyoming County. They lead you to believe that since the construction of three wind farms in the towns of Eagle, Wethersfield and Sheldon money and jobs are just raining down on these towns. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Invenergy usually neglects to give the complete picture when they are speaking about finances. Here are some interesting figures that were ignored:

Total tax exemptions received by the wind turbine companies in Wyoming County alone are $15,183,665 as of 2008. This figure was reported in the 2008 NYS IDA report. This is money that we as taxpayers will end up paying as Wyoming County can’t sustain that kind of loss in revenue. This figure doesn’t even take into account all the subsidies that wind turbine companies receive from the federal government and utilities. Subsidies that we all pay for as taxpayers and utility ratepayers.

PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) payments made to these three towns for the period of 2007-09 are $6,009,408. The figures for 2010 have not yet been released to the state Office of the Comptroller by the towns in question. PILOT payments are the money that we have paid already as taxpayers being generously returned to us by the wind turbine companies. That still leaves the wind turbine companies ahead by $9,174,257 when you compare the payments with the tax exemptions they have received. Don’t let these wind turbine companies fool you. Property taxes are still being paid and collected by these three towns. For the period 2007-09, Eagle collected $290,543, Sheldon collected $991,996 (for 2008 and 2009) and Wethersfield collected $548,786 for property taxes.

Let’s not forget about all the jobs created by the wind turbine companies. The Noble Bliss wind farm, 17 jobs created. Cost per job to create $2,764 for a total cost of $46,988.

Sheldon Invenergy wind farm, nine jobs created. Cost per job to create $1,477,778 for a total cost of $13,300,002! Noble Wethersfield wind farm, three jobs created. Cost per job to create $612,228 for a total cost of $1,836,684. This is what the Wyoming County IDA states it cost us as taxpayers to gain only 29 jobs with the wind turbine companies.

All of the figures I have cited in this article have come straight from the New York State Office of the Comptroller. If you have a chance go to their website (http://www.osc.state.ny.us/). You’ll get a real eye opener in regards to how your hard-earned money is being spent.

If things were as great as Invenergy claims why do you see so many for sale signs in Sheldon, Wethersfield and Eagle. Property owners are taking tremendous losses if they are able to sell and get away from the health and noise issues created by industrial wind turbines.

Kathy Jensen