Members of the multi-municipal wind turbine working group (MMWTWG) want the base assessment value for wind turbines changed.
The province’s Ministry of Finance recently recommended adjustments to the assessment but no change in the actual base value of industrial wind turbines, Arran-Elderslie deputy mayor and chair of the MMWTWG Mark Davis told members of Arran-Elderslie council this week.
“The wind turbine group is writing a letter to Minister Charles Sousa expressing our dissatisfaction,” Davis told council, saying the base assessment at $40,000 “is artificially low and is nowhere close to true base costs.”
In a letter to Sousa, the MMWTWG says the cost of the foundation and tower for a 1.5 megawatt turbine is $800,000. “The base cost assessment should more closely reflect this reality,” the letter states, adding “subsequent indexing could then be introduced.”
“The existing artificially low base cost assessment has allowed successful industrial wind turbine proponents to have resources available to offer vibrancy funds to municipalities and/or funds to community groups,” the letter continues. “These offerings come with many strings attached and put the developer in a control position … the Green Energy Act and this artificially low tax base assessment have jeopardized the ability of a municipality to raise property taxes to conduct its business. The annual allocation of Ontario funding to each municipality is decreasing. A fairer tax revenue generation process is needed to offset this shortfall.”
Each municipality will pay $200 more this year to be a member of the multi-municipal wind turbine working group.
At a recent meeting, members agreed to increase the annual fee from $500 to $700. The annual fee is used to fund administration costs.
This year the fee was increased by $200 to cover the cost of an account received from a closed meeting investigator who was hired by one of the group’s members, the Municipality of Huron-Kinloss, to investigate issues relating to a complaint about a closed meeting the group held last summer in Ripley.