Some lawmakers in Pierre want to see part of the tax revenue gained from wind energy go to local government.
Republican State Senator Shantel Krebs is proposing that a small percentage of the taxes generated from wind energy go to local townships to help pay for local roads and local government infrastructure.
Currently the bulk of wind energy tax revenues go into the state’s property tax reduction fund.
Krebs says it’s the local government that must maintain the roads needed for development of big industry such as wind farms.
“Township roads and county roads are simply not constructed to handle large volumes. And, these are heavy traffic and heavy operators driving on these roads. And, so it’s obviously very costly for these local governments to sustain and maintain these roads,” says Krebs.
But opponents like Republican State Senator David Omdahl say the bill changes the rules for how tax money is spent by moving it away from the state as a whole. The bill passed out of committee by a vote of five to two. It goes next to the State Senate floor.