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Wind farm fight continues in court  

Credit:  By: Alex Hassel | November 1, 2012 | stjoechannel.com ~~

After a year of dispute, the Dekalb County Assessor and Wind Capital Group have taken their arguments to the courtroom.

The dispute is over assessed tax rates on 97 wind turbines in the Lost Creek Wind Energy project in Dekalb County.

Wind Capital Group believes it should pay taxes based on the agreement it made with the Dekalb County Commission in 2009 for the project.

The county assessor, however, says that agreement was deemed illegal and believes Wind Capital Group should pay taxes based on the assessment formula the energy company uses in every other county in Missouri.

Today in court, attorneys for Wind Capital Group made the case that the wind turbines went from a value of $233 million in construction costs, to an assessed value of $44 million in 2011.

A lower assessed value means Wind Capital Group would pay lower taxes.

Wind Capital attorneys say the wind farm has lost value because of physical depreciation, a 30% tax credit, and its average efficiency.

The county assessor argues that it has not devalued that much since construction started in 2010.

So far, Wind Capital has paid around $905,000 in taxes for 2011.

The county assessor believes Wind Capital owes another $600,000 to $800,000.

“The money has been held up for so long, all the entities in this area need as much money as they can get,” said Dekalb County Assessor Ruth Ross. “That’s the main thing is that they get the money that is due to them.”

Wind Capital could not produce any documentation for construction cost during Thursday’s hearing.

Both parties agreed to push the case back, while the new documentation is entered into the case.

Both sides will meet up in court again in December, where the judge will determine what tax rate Wind Capital will pay.

Representatives from Wind Capital Group declined to comment.

Source:  By: Alex Hassel | November 1, 2012 | stjoechannel.com

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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