Bill Protects Millions in Annual Revenue For Rural Communities; Now Heads to House
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that will ensure the state's rural communities continue to receive tens of millions in annual property tax revenue from wind farms.
Senate Bill 2612, sponsored by Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), extends a sunset provision in an existing law that is scheduled to expire at the end of 2016. The tax revenue from Illinois wind farms injects millions of dollars into local coffers for rural schools, roads, and other government services.
Illinois' existing wind projects provide over $28 million in annual property tax revenue to local communities, according to a 2013 study by the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University. The state ranks fifth in the nation for installed wind capacity, and is leading the way for clean energy job growth in the Midwest, according to a recent study by Clean Energy Trust.
"Stable tax policy is particularly important for Illinois's renewable energy sector," said Kevin Borgia, public policy manager at Wind on the Wires. "Extending this provision will ensure that rural Illinois communities will continue to benefit from tax revenue generated by wind farms for years to come."
Representative Tom Demmer (R-Rochelle) has already signed on as the chief sponsor in the House.
The bill is not a tax break, it simply extends the sunset on existing law governing the amount of local property taxes that wind farms will pay to local governments. This revenue is increasingly important for rural counties amidst ongoing budget stalemate at the state capitol.
# # #
About Wind on the Wires
Wind on the Wires is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., which is comprised of wind developers, environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind industry. Our mission is to overcome the barriers to bringing wind energy to market by addressing technical and regulatory issues, as well as through education and public outreach.