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Lieutenant Governor backs wind turbine tax

BAD AXE – Some county officials were bolstered by recent statements from Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who indicated wind energy developers may not be exempt from paying personal property taxes.

The uncertainty regarding the future of local tax revenue from wind energy developments has had many local officials on edge over the past year. That’s because while there have been calls from lawmakers in Lansing to eliminate the personal property tax, there has been little attention to the fact that it is the only tax developers pay on wind turbines. And despite assurances that a replacement will be put in place to reimburse local governments for a loss of personal property taxes, local officials have feared the area could lose the countywide financial benefit it receives from area wind developments.

But, during an address at a Michigan Association of Counties conference last week, Calley discussed exempting only some businesses from paying personal property taxes.

“This would be focused on industrial processing. Therefore, not everything currently classified as ‘industrial,’ such as wind turbines – or any turbines for that matter – would end up getting the exemption,” stated Deputy Press Secretary Ken Silfven.

Huron County Commissioner Steve Vaughan attended the Michigan Association of Counties conference and was the one to ask Calley about what’s going to happen with the personal property tax on wind developments.