November 15, 2018

Possible legislation being pursued to keep NEMO wind farm tax dollars local

By Ashley Hoak | KTVO |

Conversations are continuing for a massive wind farm planned for northeast Missouri.

A group of different entities including the Adair County Commission, Schuyler County Commission, Schuyler County R-1 School District, Adair County Public Library and political officials and their representatives met Tuesday afternoon to discuss how taxes will be assessed.

In May, Terra-Gen and Ameren Missouri announced plans to build the High Prairie Wind Farm, which would be the largest facility of its kind in the state.

Should the project move forward, 175 wind turbines will be constructed on land in Adair and Schuyler counties.

Terra-Gen will develop, finance and construct the project, and subject to regulatory approval, Ameren Missouri will purchase Terra-Gen’s ownership interest after construction is complete.

Because of that purchase, some have questioned how taxes will be assessed.

For the first year, taxes are expected to be assessed at the local level.

However, after Ameren’s purchase, taxes are then typically assessed at the state level.

Those that attended Tuesday’s meeting say it is important the funds generated from the taxes stay local.

Carolyn Chrisman, the Executive Director for Kirksville Regional Economic Development Incorporated (K-REDI), facilitated the discussion.

“It really looks like legislation is going to be needed in order to try to keep those tax dollars local. So, we just discussed various aspects of maybe what avenue to take with legislation, you know, we’ve got a lot of new legislators, so who might be able to carry it. We just decided that a meeting with the head of utilities down in Jefferson City would be a great first step.”

Chrisman says the group is hoping to speak with Republican State Representative Rocky Miller of Lake of the Ozarks, soon.

He currently serves as chairman of the House Utilities Committee.

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