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For the past year or so I’ve been involved in Senate Study Bill 3130 – Repowering Legislation. The bill codifies recommendations of the Replacement Tax Task Force and is designed to provide consistent treatment for property taxpayers owning wind energy conversion property. The bill will not impact those districts that have reset their schedule due to repowering (Winnebago and Hancock).

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The task force is created under the Iowa Code and it requires the Department of Management and the Department of Revenue to initiate and coordinate the task force. Along with the departments the task force includes electric companies, natural gas companies, municipal utilities, electric cooperatives, counties, cities, school boards, and industrial commercial and residential consumers and other stakeholders. The purpose of the task force is to study the effect of the replacement tax on local taxing districts, consumers, and taxpayers. It is to look at issues and make recommendations. The task force has met three times and discussed issues related to wind energy conversion property.

This bill addresses three main areas of concern regarding the assessment and taxation of wind energy conversion property.

  1. Provides direction on how wind energy conversion property should be assessed for property tax purposes if a local ordinance related to creating a special valuation for wind energy conversion property is repealed and the required 19 assessment years have passed or in the case where an ordinance is not adopted.

    If the wind energy conversion property is selling power to an end user – it would be subject to the Utility Replacement Tax (if selling to the grid), local assessment (not selling to the grid – for own use) or central assessment by the Department of Revenue (co-ops not currently under the replacement tax – this is a very limited number of situations).

  2. Addresses how wind energy conversion property should be valued if it is repowered. This is defined as refurbishing replacement of parts. The provision clarifies the act of repowering does not reset the special assessment schedule (to start over).
  3. Addresses the valuation of collector and interconnect substations.  The provision adds a collector substations definition and adds them to the definition of wind energy conversion property to be covered under the special schedule. The bill does not include interconnect substations to the definition of wind energy conversion property and is therefore not subject to the special valuation.

The bill applies retroactively to assessment years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.

My position on this bill is one of great concern for Iowans and specifically for our school funding. If we don’t make modifications millions of dollars of valuations can come off the tax rolls and will directly affect our schools’ Physical Plant Equipment Levy (PPEL). Without proper and fair wind energy taxation value, we will see an increase in other areas of property taxes to meet the needs for our schools.

I have heard from a number of county supervisors who have concerns about this bill and aspects of the proposed legislation. We are currently sorting through the concerns and at the end of the day our goal is to bring consistency and to protect the local property tax bases.

I was happy to learn this week that Governor Reynolds will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. This honor is given to a strong Republican leader whose actions and policies embody true conservative leadership. Governor Reynolds’s strong leadership throughout the pandemic has provided a stark contrast to the failed policies of the Biden administration. Her common-sense policies and conservative ideals have helped keep Iowa open, successful, and thriving. I am so proud that our governor has been chosen for this honor and gets to share Iowa’s success stories all of America Tuesday evening. It’s not often we have this opportunity in front of the nation to show why Iowa is the best place to live, work, raise a family and to retire.

Author: Waylon Brown

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1 COMMENT

  1. Wind energy would not be feasible without the infusion of tax dollars into that energy grid. And now you’re going to tax the tax dependent wind project to fund the tax dependent schools? Please don’t do anything this session! We have to clear up issues of eminent domain before we go forward on more wind turbines. Many residents in Cerro Gordo County do not want to see more wind turbines. Isn’t it ironic that wind turbines are a merry go round of taxes in and taxes out.

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