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
- 'Reads' panel narrows titles Howard County Reads, a program introduced in 2004 to cultivate a love of reading and promote a sense of community, is another step closer to selecting a book for its 10th anniversary.In February, county residents began nominating a favorite for consi
- LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t
- Work program requires buy-in from industry Good help is hard to find.That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers.
- Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas
- DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa
- LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s
- A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo
House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep
It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.
- Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm
- LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common
- More Opinion Headlines