A bill sponsored by Rep. Allen Andrews is being sent to the desk of Missouri Governor Mike Parson and is expected to officially become state law. The legislation ensures all property taxes on wind farms stay local, regardless of ownership. Currently, property taxes for wind farms owned by public utilities are distributed to the areas served by those utilities.
Currently, no public utility company owns a wind farm in the state, but one wind farm development is underway in Atchison County and will be owned by Ameren, a utility that does not serve that area. Andrews’ House Bill 220 will mean more than $1 million will stay locally in Atchison County, instead of Ameren’s coverage area outside of Northwest Missouri.
Monica Bailey, Executive Director of Atchison County Development Corporation, highlighted why this legislation is critical for rural counties: “Wind energy projects have provided Atchison County with unparalleled economic opportunity. In addition to creating jobs, property taxes from wind farms have provided significant financial benefit to services in our county, such as schools and emergency services. We are thankful for Representative Andrews’ efforts to keep tax dollars local as future projects are developed.”
Representative Allen Andrews, who handled the bill, was pleased by its success. “Rural districts like the one I represent see wind farm developments as a way to provide for the county; property taxes help fund roads, public education and other programs that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Missouri counties should keep their tax money local. I am proud to have sponsored legislation that goes towards helping our local governments maintain a vital source of revenue.”
HB 220 received little to no opposition in both the House and the Senate, and was widely supported by developers like EDF and Invenergy, as well as county governments, public utilities and the Missouri Farm Bureau. The legislation was handled in the Senate by Senator Ed Emery and Senator Cindy O’Laughlin.
The bill also includes the creation of a study group focused on uniform property tax assessments for wind farms across the state.