Wind turbines are a poor income source
Our commissioners have consistently told us they were desperate to find replacement income for Howard County during the 2009 financial crisis when it looked like we might lose our two largest employers. Among the companies they found willing to come here was the wind developer who wanted to place wind turbines in the eastern part of Howard County.
For some time, I’ve been trying to determine how our county finances might benefit from these turbines, and recent help from several sources, including a Tipton commissioner, has shown that my calculation process is correct. Let me give you some property tax revenue figures, and you can decide for yourself how significant they are and whether they are worth the problems being reported by our Tipton County neighbors.
Changes to the county setback rules mean there will be fewer than the original 124 turbines here and the new number is unknown. So, let me give you the expected property tax revenue for 124 and 50 turbines. As these figures are fully scalable, you can easily determine the revenue whenever the new number is announced.
For 124 turbines, the property tax revenue starts at just over $91,000 a year and ramps up to $570,000 in the 11th year. The total income received over the first 10 years will be about $3.2 million.
For 50 turbines, the numbers are $37,000, $230,000 and $1.3 million. These figures must be judged against the needs of our county, which had a budget in 2012 of $41.8 million.
There are several other revenue sources including income and property taxes on the company, employees and leaseholders, and my annual estimate of those is about $425,000. So, if $5 million in tax revenue per year can be considered a significant figure and we are willing to wait 10 years to reach that level, how many turbines will it take? The answer is 622, and it implies they would need to be placed all over our county. Certainly this demonstrates how poor an income source turbines are.
More than once, these property tax numbers have been presented to the Commissioners who did not challenge them. Given such a weak income stream, questions must be raised over what the other benefits are we are not hearing about.
Tom Cornell, Greentown
Wind turbines are a poor income source
- LETTER: Tipton commissioner keeps agency matters secret Commissioner keeps panel matters secret An April 14 letter exposed the truth about a politician's actions vs. what he writes or says. The minutes from an Alliance Board governmental meeting indicated Phil Heron voted no for a request to allow public
- LETTERS: Correct mistakes May 6; RNC & pals Voting mistakes can be corrected May 6 For the last several months, it seems that I keep hearing one recurring conversation. People cannot believe the arrogance being shown by some of our elected officials towards the people of Tipton County. The sam
- April 22, 2014: Letters to the editor Tipton incorporated earlier than known? A Nickel Plate Trail sign was recently put up in the northwest corner of the Tipton County Courthouse lawn. The center circle wording states the town of Tipton was founded in 1833, which is eleven years before
Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014
Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.
Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014
On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.
Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014
At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.
Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014
In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.
- April 14, 2014: Letters to the editor Watch for bicyclists on roadways, drivers When you ride a bike near a semi, there are at least four blind spots where the driver can't see you. We need to be careful when we ride near trucks. If we get hit by a semi, it's usually our fault. But we ne
- April 13, 2014: Letters to the editor Grade your elected officials, vote May 6 After attending the Tipton County BOC meeting on April 7, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts. I have tried to keep from attacking our local elected officials as much as possible and, instead, attack the
- April 11, 2014: Letters to the editor Eastern Howard Co. opposes wind farm The majority of people who live in eastern Howard County, including the entire Winger family, do not want wind turbines obstructing our view! We originally signed up with Horizon, thinking it was a win/win proposi
- More Letters Headlines