Still think wind power is good for Dixfield?
To the Editor:
Some real facts, not fallacy!
Perhaps you heard people make statements like these, property taxes would likely drop by one-third to one-half if the wind mills are built. Or how about this one? The project is expected to bring in about $800,000 annually in property taxes. Where did they get their information from?
Well, here are some real facts for you. Dr. Tom Ward told us at the hearing on the proposed withdrawal from RSU 10, that Dixfield experienced an increase in their share of the RSU 10 budget of 3% due to an increase in the towns valuation by $23 million in 2010 (a direct result of our town governments actions) as the state has a two-year lag time. We collected taxes on the additional $23 million, but it did not cover the change in the school funding formula we lost state and federal funding due to the towns change in valuation. So if you build a $40 to $60 million wind project in Dixfield with this increased valuation, we will have to merge schools, services etc. and won't even be able to salvage the current set up we have within the RSU. Our school budget would increase by 6 to 9% just looking at what Dr. Tom told us, but probably would be even greater as bigger money means bigger change.
So if you look at the true facts not just what you think but what people who know tell you if we have a wind farm in Dixfield we won’t be able to afford our school or will have no chance to save Dirigo! Also these same people have also said “People say a wind farm will cost more by raising valuations, particularly for school and county taxes, but there are many ways to handle the income that doesn't place a burden on the town, but gives us money. It depends on how it's done by arranging how the taxes are applied “I would assume this is a reference to TIFs (Tax Increment financing) a public financing method that is used for subsidizing redevelopment infrastructure and other community-improvement projects. The designation as blighted is essential to most TIF implementation.
The process leads to favoritism for politically connected developers, implementing lawyers, economic development officials and others involved. The process can allow governmental condemnation of property through eminent domain laws. A TIF is a way of shielding the increased valuation to your town, from the state, the county and the local school system. The proceeds from the TIF cannot be use for property tax relief. Also expenditures have to be pre-approved by the state and the majority of the money has to be spent within the TIF district, and only spent for economic development.
Not allowed are new town offices or community centers or ball fields, etc.! Also, the other towns in a school district could vote not to honor your TIF and your town could be forced to raise hundreds of thousands of extra dollars to pay the school district, paying off your school district with TIF revenues is not an approved use the money according to the state. So then we can’t save Dirigo.
Also, if you TIF your supposed $800,000 is gone you can’t have it both ways. Here are some more interesting facts the Renewable Portfolio Standard (Maine Revised Statues Title 35 A Part 3 chapter 32) Supporters of the Maine RPS use a hidden tax approach, they fail to undertake any reasonable cost-benefit analysis backed up by economic reasoning.
The Beacon Hill Institute (the research arm of the Department of Economics at Suffolk University in Boston) applied its STAMP® (State Tax Analysis Modeling Program) to estimate the economic effects of these RPS mandates. Beacon Hill based their estimates on EIA projections a division of the Department of Energy. Here is what they found -- The Maine RPS law will raise the cost of electricity by $145 million for the state’s consumers in 2017. The increased energy prices will hurt Maine’s households and businesses and, in turn, inflict significant harm on the state economy.
In 2017, the RPS will lower employment by an average of 995 jobs; reduce real disposable income by $85 million; decrease investment by $11 million; increase the average household electricity bill by $80 per year; commercial businesses by an average of $615 per year; and industrial businesses by an average of $14,350 per year.
Just a couple of things about the environment. Did you realize in 2011, half of Maine's net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, with 25 percent from hydroelectricity, 21 percent from wood, and 4.5 percent from wind? Did you know that Maine is 44th in carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.? Just looking at some of the facts, do you still think wind power is good for Dixfield?