(Atlantic) The Wind Turbine Project near Massena is not only generating electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes, they will eventually generate a wind fall for Cass County.
Last summer Mid-American Energy began building the state’s largest wind turbine farm in southern Cass County. The 193-wind turbines are projected to power 190,000 homes. One-hundred-and-fifty-five of these large wind mills are located in Cass County and expected to give a boost to the counties budget. The full value of the project is based on a sliding scale so it will take 7-years before the maximum assessed value will actually kick in.
“They are set up on a sliding scale.” stated Cass County Assessor Brenda Nelson. “The first year they are assessed at zero, the second year is five-percent of the acquisition cost, and every year after that it increases by five-percent until they are maxed out at thirty-percent.” Nelson says at the end of 7-years they will be taxed at $38,149 of actual tax money out of pocket. “So if multiply that figure by 155, it calculates out to $5-million-913-thousand-95-dollars per year total tax on those 155-turbines.”
Cass County Board of Supervisor Chair Duane McFadden says other counties wish they had this windfall coming in because you seldom have this increased assessment available.
“We are fortunate that the conditions were right in the southeast part of our county for the turbines to be built there,” stated McFadden. “And out of 193-turbines, 155 are in Cass County, so we have the biggest part of the pot in this project.”
So how will this money be used? McFadden says a lot of this extra revenue will be used to improve the counties infrastructure without causing an added tax burden.
“The money can be used to maintain our roads and keep us up to pace without raising taxes,” said McFadden. “We know costs continue to go up and you need this new value to assess and lower the tax burden while maintaining the facilities that need to be updated or replaced.”
McFadden says this in essence will mean more jobs to the county, not to mention the jobs that have been already been created by this project.
December 28, 2011