BigWind tax loss hits county, SCHOOL districts

Ohio should learn a lesson from the mistakes in California. Our schools cannot afford to make these mistakes! What will happen in Paulding county when these realities hit? Van Wert schools must be thankful that they don’t receive a dime from the turbines just North of the city.  The facts, below, expose 2 dirty truths about these wind sites. OUR tax dollars PAY them, in year 1, for producing nothing- we pay them for merely existing!  Secondly, they rarely produce what they ‘claim’ they will produce. In fact, in Ohio, they produce less than 30% of what they ‘claimed’ before they ever started spinning. Why should our tax dollars be wasted on an industry that fails to deliver results? Why should our tax dollars be wasted on foreign-owned companies? These facts should outrage anyone with a brain who works for a living….Thank heavens our Ohio legislators enacted Senate Bill 310 this year which ‘freezes’ our renewable energy mandates for evaluation…..

A sudden and dramatic drop in the value of Kern County’s massive wind energy farms will strip millions of dollars out of government coffers this fiscal year.

The Kern County Assessor-Recorder’s office has warned county officials that they expect to drop wind energy property value by $777 million less than three months into the fiscal year.

County budget officials estimate that will strip $1.8 million from the county’s main operational fund and $900,000 from taxes used to run the Kern County Fire Department.

Other governments — cities and schools and special districts — could also lose revenue.

The impact on local districts whose territory includes wind farms — including Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District and Tehachapi Unified School District — was not immediately available before deadline….

Assistant Kern County Administrative Officer Nancy Lawson said the county budget is expected to lose around $2.7 million….

The county builds a cushion into its spending plan for changes in tax values, she said, and that cushion is big enough to handle the shortfall.

But that money is usually used to pay off property owners who win a legal appeal with the county over the size of the property tax bill.

This, however, is a permanent change to the value of wind energy developments.

Lawson said the county will have to absorb that reduced revenue into all future budgets….

Ansolabehere said the drop in wind energy values came for a number of reasons.

In the first year that a new wind energy project is active, he said, the operator gets a check from the federal government that covers 30 percent of its value.

That check doesn’t come in the second year.

So, Ansolabehere said, the value of a wind project often drops dramatically in the second year.

The other major reason valuations have dropped, he said, is that some projects are not producing energy at the level they were expected to…

“After they are operating for a few years you can see whether they are producing better or worse than expected,” he said.

But, on the whole, production is less than predicted.

 

Wind tax loss hits county, districts – TehachapiNews.com.

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BigWind provides ‘fireworks in the fall’ for Benton County, Indiana

Don’t you just love America’s 4th of July celebrations? We do, but not in the middle of a farm field on top of a wind turbine. BP Wind Energy owns this turbine and they have sold their wind business to Apex.  We have blogged, recently, about how Apex now has purchased the wind leases in Southern Van Wert County, Ohio, and they recently met with the county commissioners. Their goal? Blanket the remainder of the county and press toward Allen county, Ohio. Connect the dots, and Ohio could have wind sites rapidly expanding across our lands. Additionally, have you ever heard of fire ‘suppression training’ for turbines? HA! Instead, just grab some popcorn and a blanket to sit and enjoy the show. Why would they burn for 30 minutes or longer? Remember, there are thousands of parts inside a turbine, with up to 200 gallons of oil in the nacelle. Not exactly something that a farmer should want towering over his dry fields ready for harvest…

A wind turbine in Fowler catches fire in Benton County Friday morning. Witnesses report seeing the turbine shooting flames and sparks from its motor….

said BP told him, whenever this happens, crew should secure the area and not attempt to put the fire out…

“We’ve always been told to just stabilize the area and keep everybody away from it,” said Burton. “It was really close to town, about a mile out. You could see it. It just looked like the fourth of July. There were just sparks going everywhere and flames shooting out.”

Firefighters report it took about 30 minutes for the fire to burnout…

via Wind turbine catches fire in Benton County | wlfi.com.  and http://do512blog.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/fireworks-1.jpg

Ouch! Ohio Senator Cliff Hite- this testimony against BigWind STINGS!

Yesterday was a very good day in the Ohio Senate on several levels.  Testimony offered in support of SB 34 to repeal the Ohio Renewable Mandate was given by several witnesses in the nuclear engineering field who discussed the promise of new technology but who asserted that a mandate of any kind sends signals to the financing and venture capital markets to divert investment to the mandated technologies like wind and solar.  Even small amounts of mandated wind and solar impede access to financing for emerging technologies.   The Public Utilities Committee was very interested in this aspect.  Then the “star” witness, Milo Schaffner, Hoaglin Township Trustee, from Van Wert County presented a Resolution from the Van Wert County Trustees Association supporting SB 34.    This was especially important because Van Wert County is represented by Sen. Cliff Hite, a major obstacle to the repeal of the mandate.  

Trustee Schaffner also described the remorse of a leaseholder whose farm drainage  was forever ruined; the fact that people who sought “Good Neighbor Agreements” were denied by Iberdrola who instead gave them $25 Wal-Mart gift cards; that shadow flicker is experienced in the Schaffner home which is a little more than a mile from the nearest turbine and that the noise was terrible. Trustee Schaffner’s testimony is below…

Chairman Seitz, Vice Chairman LaRose, ranking member Kearney, Members of the Senate Public Utilities Committee. I want to thank you for the honor of addressing this committee. My name is Milo Schaffner and I have lived 64 of my years in Van Wert County’s Hoaglin Township. I have been involved in our community as a school board member, youth leader, job creator, (Schaffner Tool and Die), school teacher, and have just been re-elected to my fourth term as township trustee.

I stand before you now as Vice President of the Van Wert Co. Trustee Association. I would like to read to you a letter that was sent to our Senator Mr. Hite.

On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, the Executive Committee of the Van Wert County Township Association met with all twelve townships represented and unanimously Resolved to support Senate Bill 34 submitted by Senator Jordon to repeal the requirement that electrical distribution utilities and electrical services companies provide 25% of their retail power supplies from advanced and renewable energy resources by 2025. We urge you to support Senate Bill 34. Sincerely Jeffery A. Harmon President Van Wert County Township Association. 

A copy of this is included in my testimony.

I would now like to stand before you as Hoaglin Township Trustee. I believe based upon this past November election our views are the majority of our township. Many Wind Turbine Lease Holders are in support of our stand, and thanked us for what we have been doing. We have simply been telling the truth and asking the hard questions of wind developers, that people seem to forget to ask when they are promised money.

You may not be aware that Iberdrola sent a letter to people who have asked for a good neighbor agreement. This letter informed them that Iberdrola was no longer offering good neighbor agreements, Iberdrola included a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart and thanked them for their interest. Sometime later when I saw Mr. Litchfield, project developer for Iberdrola, I told him of the shadow flicker at my house one mile away from the nearest turbine. His response was if I signed a Good Neighbor agreement Iberdrola would buy blinds for our house. The Ethics Committee has already ruled a Trustee cannot accept more than that which is offered to the average citizen. Ethics Committee opinion of March 10, 2010. Mr. Litchfield knows this because he told me Iberdrola’s attorney helped write the opinion. How could anyone accept this when your neighbor who lives within 1500 feet of a turbine was refused a good neighbor agreement?

I now stand before you as a Small Business Owner. Most of our machines are run by computers and require a dependable source of electricity at a competitive price. Dependable because these machines have no hand cranks. If the electricity amperage or voltage is varied it can cost many thousands of dollars in repairs. Let me ask you why should I invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment in a state that has chosen to require me to buy electricity that is not dependable, and is far too expensive? 

Lastly I stand before you as a citizen of Hoaglin Township, Van Wert County, and the state of Ohio. I ask why have you passed bills that ruin our piece of happiness? Please do not test my intelligence with the old jobs argument. Come look at the license plates on vehicles at the interconnection site. Mr. Litchfield was asked if Iberdrola would hire the graduates of Vantage Vocational School who took the Wind Turbine program. His answer was no, we hire people who have been trained by the manufacturer of the turbines. Remember, we were led to believe these young people would be hired and have good paying jobs.

My Wife of over 48 years and I enjoyed drinking coffee on our front porch until the turbines came. We even went out in the winter, all bundled up and drank coffee and talked. Our neighbors called us the Cracker Barrel of Hoaglin Township. Now when we go out it only takes a couple minutes until my wife says she can’t stand it and goes inside. We have talked about moving but this is where we raised our children. They come back home where they were raised for all the Holidays. 

In closing I would like to tell you how ruthless these wind developers really are. I had asked Mr. Litchfield years ago about people being lied to concerning what they were told they had signed and what they had really signed. His response was we cannot be held accountable for that because we hire another firm to get leases signed and we have no control over what they tell people. I was walking down the street a couple months ago, I believe it was in Sept. when a man said, “Hey Milo, I have been thinking about you the last couple weeks.” My response was that can’t be good. His response was I saw your picture on the front page of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and I wanted to tell you, if I had known then what I know now I would never have signed up my farm. They told me what I signed gave them only the wind rights to my farm. I now have a road through my farm that has destroyed two outlets. I don’t think I will ever be able to get my farm to drain properly again. I told him not to feel bad because they have done the same thing to other people. The man was correct he never got his farm to properly drain again, He died last week.

If a wind project is a wise investment, let people freely pursue it. I have no reason to believe the experience of others will be much different from Van Wert. The tragedy is that this probably would have never happened in the way it has developed if there was no mandate. Developers can trample one community and move on to trample the next one because they are protected by a mandate that gives them that right.

This bill is about removing the mandate.
I ask you to Pass Senate Bill 34.