A long litigation process over the taxation of wind farms in Huron County has ended following an agreement announced by DTE Energy June 29.
The agreement, which also includes other wind farms around the state, settled on a new tax table that will be followed that is different from what the county and DTE were originally considering. This agreement also ensures that there will be no more litigation on the taxation of the wind farms’ land for the next 15 years.
Mary Babcock, District 7 county commissioner, who had been working the last few years on the situation, said she was happy the issue was resolved
“(This) was very much positive and DTE was wonderful to work with through this process.” she said, adding that the agreement would save the county more than $6 million in taxes. “That saves the school district, veterans, roads, and everyone else who receives tax dollars.”
The original ruling from the Michigan Tax Tribunal, which ruled in favor of DTE back in Summer 2021, would have had Huron County pay back taxes at 6% interest
The litigation process took years to resolve, but both the community and DTE are looking forward as Carl Osentoski, a coordinator for the Michigan Renewable Energy Collaborative added in a press release
“This is a good step forward in improving relations with local communities and in resolving assessment issues for utility scale wind parks in Michigan,” He said. “We hope the agreement with DTE will provide a roadmap for other wind park owners to resolve their pending tax appeal cases as well.”
Osentoski said the collaborative is still working on appeals with Consumers Energy, Exelon and American Electric Power.
“We are hopeful to come to a similar agreement” he added.
Huron County was not the only area affected as this agreement included the wind farms in Gratiot, Sanilac and Isabella counties. This will also be applied to wind farms going forward for the next 15 years.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referenced a new tax table that had been passed by the House of Representatives, however no vote has taken place on it at this time.
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