Tax Change On Wind Farms Will Shift Millions.

30 Dec 2011

Photo credit: Barrie Barber | The Saginaw News

Wind turbines are considered industrial personal property and are taxed on their market value.  Formerly, each turbine’s Michigan tax liability was based on 100% of its value for the first year and depreciated over 15 years until bottoming out at 30%.  A few weeks ago, the State Tax Commission adopted a new set of equations for determining the value of personal property and turbines are now taxed at 80% in the first year and then drop to 30% within five years.

While good for wind farm owners and operators, the loss of tax revenue may be significant in counties where large wind farms are under development.  According to an article from Capital News Service by Sam Inglot, in Mason County, construction has begun on Consumers Energy’s first wind park. The Lake Winds Energy Park will have 56 turbines and is set to begin generating power in 2013.  The tax change will result in a loss of $7.8 million in once-anticipated tax revenues for the county over 20 years.  The county had expected to generate $29 million over that period.


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