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Wind opponent speaks before foundation on tax breaks

A Wharton County woman taking a stand against super-sized windmill developments has spread her message beyond the local borders.

Lacricia Ryan recently spoke with state leaders in Austin at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

“I (shared) my personal experience about the 313/312 abatements and the efforts we are leading with Wharton County Against WindFarms,” Ryan told the newspaper.

Those 313 and 312 abatements are a form of tax relief available to county leaders and school district trustees.

Ryan’s interest came as a result of developer Seventus seeking tax relief on a proposed wind farm in West Wharton County.

The county commissioners court vote to reject a request for a 312 agreement turned the public eye to the El Campo school district. Seventus withdrew its Chapter 313 request with the district from the Comprtoller’s office Jan. 21.

“This is an industry that is costing taxpayers millions and the general public deserves to be fully aware of its cost,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s message was heard at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature.

More than 100 legislators attended with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick serving as the keynote speaker with more than 30 discussion panels.

Ryan joined Sen. Kelly Hancock, Rep. Frank James, and former PUC executive director Brian Lloyd on a panel examining the challenges caused by renewable energy subsidies in Texas.

She was specifically asked to “provide a presentation offering your experience on fighting the proposed wind farm in Wharton County”

Ryan’s concerns include everything from health effects to lowering of property tax.