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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wind farm will benefit all Smelser Township taxpayers

From a commentary by Mark Hirsch on Smelsertownship.com:

With an eroding tax base and an expected reduction in the state's shared revenue (county and municipal aid payments) local municipalities and townships will need to adjust their spending or find other sources of revenue to support their operating budgets in 2010 and 2011.

In this dire economic downturn, the good luck fairy has offered to sprinkle the dust of fortune on Grant County in the form of a commercial project that fits very well in an agricultural economy. On top of the nice fit, we have the opportunity to augment our budget shortfall with some newfound and state-mandated revenue.

That newfound revenue would come in the form of the $80,000 a year Smelser Township would receive in lieu of taxes through state requirements enacted in 2003 Act 31. This act guarantees income in lieu of taxes to the host municipalities. In simplest terms, the additional $80,000 would be equal to 23% of the township's 2008 operating revenue of $350,000.

For Smelser Township though, it seems some local citizens would rather pay higher taxes than embrace the financial windfall the township would receive from the proposed White Oak Wind Project.

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