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Gratiot looking at less wind turbine taxes  

Credit:  By LINDA GITTLEMAN, Gratiot Managing Editor, Morning Sun, themorningsun.com 5 January 2012 ~~

When the county completes its budget in September and the state makes changes in November, frustrating isn’t the word.

“It’s not very nice,” Chairman Jeff Anderson said.

Thanks to the state tax commission’s decision to reduce the amount of taxes collected on wind turbines, the county is short about $200,000 for this fiscal year.

But Administrator Nicole Frost told the board Tuesday night that because the county allowed some cushion in the budget, it should balance, barring any further surprises from the state.

Anderson said after the meeting that the tax commission decreed that the county could only collect 80 percent of the taxes owed in the first year.

And, instead of having the value of the turbines depreciate to 30 percent after 15 years, the depreciation will take place after five years.

All in all, the county is set to lose about $200,000 it had planned on for this year.

Anderson said it’s his understanding that the decision was based on a study of wind turbines. When Frost requested, under the Freedom of Information Act, information regarding that study, she was told that no documents exist.

Gratiot is planning to move ahead with its three to five year plan. Finance chair David Bailey, re-elected Tuesday night, along with Anderson as county chairman and Roland Merignac as county vice chairman, will be in charge, Anderson said.

The group will look at goals and strategic planning. Also discussed at the meeting Tuesday, were possible ways the county could collaborate with municipalities to save more money.

“I think it’s the right time,” Frost said.

Source:  By LINDA GITTLEMAN, Gratiot Managing Editor, Morning Sun, themorningsun.com 5 January 2012

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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