Bee County officials are all smiles after it was discovered through an investigation that a company putting in a wind and solar farm owes more in taxes than people realized.
Several weeks ago 3News went out to a huge wind and solar farm being built in Bee County outside of Beeville, Texas.
A Danish company called Orsted is putting up 66 wind turbines and one million solar panels. However, Bee County Commissioner Dennis DeWitt told 3News that the company kept its agriculture exemption and never informed the County that it was placing the solar panels there.
“When the wind farm people rendered their information for taxes they neglected to tell the appraisal district that they were going to put in one million solar panels,” DeWitt said.
DeWitt said if Orsted had only put in the wind turbines, they could have kept the agriculture designation; but with the solar panels in place, DeWitt said that exemption could not be held.
“They can’t raise bees, they can’t put sheep or goats on it, nothing,” DeWitt said.
DeWitt called for an investigation into the situation. It’s been determined that the Danish company owes an additional $328,000 to the taxing entities in Bee County. The County itself will collect $107,000 of that total.
“We want them to pay their fair share of taxes. That’s what’s going to happen, and I have to attribute a lot of it to Channel 3 by coming down and doing a story on the wind and solar,” DeWitt said. “It got me to thinking about what was going on and something just didn’t seem right.”
DeWitt said the company has been notified. He also told 3News that Orsted could appeal the decision but he doesn’t think that will happen and expects the money to be paid by September.
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