The Saratoga Sun -

Wind tax information

 

February 27, 2019



Dear Editor,

I implore anyone considering supporting a tax increase on Wyoming’s wind-generated electricity to first consider the studies conducted exclusively on wind energy development, taxation, and the renewable energy market and know all the facts.

After years of closely considering all issues, we in Carbon County and other counties know that keeping taxes at the current level for wind plants is fair and gives us the best opportunity for securing new economic diversity and billions of dollars in new investment in Wyoming.

Two studies conducted by the University of Wyoming support this. One study from 2016 showed that

Wyoming “stands to lose significant economic activity and state revenue” worth more than what may be gained by increasing taxes on wind power, because of the risk that our wind electricity will be too expensive compared to renewable electricity available from other states, so then won’t be built.

If the five studied wind projects can be built, the UW study projects $7.1 billion in new economic activity, $2 billion in new tax revenue for schools and governments, hundreds of jobs, and many other benefits delivered to Wyoming.

Another UW study presented at our annual meeting in December 2018 shows Wyoming wind plants are already at a cost disadvantage when compared to other Western states, considering the current taxes paid by Wyoming wind in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, and electricity taxes, which other states do not impose. UW’s Dr. Robert Godby told another magazine, “Current wind contracts are estimated at $16/MWh-$20/MWh … Quintuple that (electricity) tax, though, and you’re going to “gobble up from 25 percent to over 30 percent of the potential gross revenues any developer could get.”

Finally, Wyoming prides itself on being business friendly.

Is doubling, tripling or quintupling any tax on any industry business friendly? Many legislators pledged no new taxes. Utilities have stated they are watching the wind tax proposals carefully and are fully aware that any of the proposals on the table would likely increase cost of electricity to their customers.

Are you willing to tax yourself and increase your electric bill?

Cindy Wallace

Executive Director

Carbon County Economic Development Corporation

 

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