Letter: County needs wind moratoriumWe are all aware of the proposed wind turbine developments going on in our county.
By: Chris Mallery, Kenyon, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
We are all aware of the proposed wind turbine developments going on in our county. There has been much opposition to these projects for reasons of health, safety and impact on property values.
I think most will agree that the reluctance by our County Board has been mainly because of the financial gain that the county will receive in the form of wind production tax credits. Recently I discovered some critical information regarding these tax credits that shatters the illusion our county will reap huge financial benefits from wind energy.
A county receives income from wind turbine developments in the form of a wind production tax.
What our County Board was not aware of is that current law dictates the tax be offset by the amount a county may levy in property taxes. For example, say a county may levy $1,000,000 in property tax to its residents.
That same year it receives $100,000 in wind production tax. The county is then limited to collect only $900,000 in property taxes. The county will net zero dollars from the wind turbine developers.
Add the cost of road repairs and EMS expenses for standby service during production and the county will incur a net loss from wind development.
Based on this financial information and all the concerns that have been voiced for the safety and welfare of our residents, I feel the County Board should find there is no alternative but to enact a moratorium on wind development in our county.
Please contact your Goodhue County commissioner and members of the Planning Advisory Commission and let them know that you support a moratorium to research potential effects of a wind turbine development on our communities.