Minco Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Sims (Your Views, Feb. 21) extolled the virtues of Big Wind, but he didn’t present a clear picture of what the industry’s growth has cost Oklahoma. Wind farms have resulted in increased property tax revenue for some school districts, but for the most part Oklahoma taxpayers have footed the bill. Wind developers were exempt from paying property taxes under a now-expired incentive, leaving the state to make up the difference. Taxpayers covered about 80 percent of the wind industry’s $74 million tax bill in 2017. Now Big Wind is trying to weasel its way out of paying those taxes to Oklahoma schools. Wind lobbyists have proposed eliminating the industry’s responsibility to pay property taxes in response to discussions about Oklahoma imposing a tax on wind energy. The wind industry is largely made up of massive foreign companies that have no stake and remarkably few employees in Oklahoma. These companies owe Oklahoma for subsidizing wind’s growth in this state, not the other way around.
Cliff Branan, Oklahoma City
Branan is executive director of the Windfall Coalition (www.thewindfallcoalition.com).
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding