Merry Christmas to all! Come 2013 Acciona will finally have the cash to begin fulfilling the promise of tax revenue these builders of the 67 wind turbines standing tall, very very tall, at Ecogrove made to us in 2007.
Standing with its corporate hat in hand in the early months of 2009, Acciona sold 14 taxing bodies in Stephenson County and Jo Daviess County on the idea that abating the first three years of taxes on Ecogrove, a sum totaling just about $2.7 million, was money it so desperately needed to keep. Building a wind farm, after all, is expensive. Just ask the landowners on whose property the turbines stand, and who have collectively been paid roughly $300,000 annually by Acciona since 2010.
Those were frenzied days, the early days of the recession, and I suppose we must forgive Acciona forgetting it would soon (October 15 , 2009) submit a claim to the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to recover 30% of its cost to build Ecogrove. How could Acciona reasonably be expected to believe its claim would quickly (October 30, 2009) be approved and that Treasury would that day drop a check in the mail in the amount of $67,868,807? Besides, this was obviously money it so desperately needed to keep. Building a wind farm, after all, is expensive. Just ask those 14 taxing bodies, 13 of which represent the 47771 residents of Stephenson County, who shelled out the $2.7 million in early 2009.
All of these 14 taxing bodies, and the 47711 residents of Stephenson County, have struggled to balance budgets, both governmental and personal, since 2010. Building communities, after all, with their schools, roads, emergency services, et al…is expensive. Just ask those of us among the 47711 who have paid our taxes for those schools, for those roads, for those emergency services in our communities every year since 2010 and who can make no claim to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to recover the 30% many of us so desperately needed.
Still our stockings will be half full of coal. It seems that only half of those massive blades, which have all been spinning for three years, have been generating electricity. Huh! Acciona will pay only 50% of their tax bill. Stiffed again. Well here’s to 2014!
—Mike King, Dakota
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