A second wind energy company is taking Tuscola County and local townships to court over wind turbine taxes – a move viewed as frustrating by county officials as much-needed tax revenue must now be set aside to cover potential court-ordered payments.
Jackson-based Consumers Energy Co. filed the petitions with the Michigan Tax Tribunal on May 31, contesting the assessed value of 62 turbines in its $250 million Cross Winds Energy Park in Akron and Columbia townships. Jackson-based Consumers Energy Co. filed the petitions with the Michigan Tax Tribunal on May 31, contesting the assessed value of 62 turbines in its $250 million Cross Winds Energy Park in Akron and Columbia townships.
Attorneys for Consumers allege in filings that assessed values of its turbines for the 2015-16 tax year were too high and that the company is due refunds for overpayment.
The petitions are similar to that filed by NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. and/or its affiliates for wind turbines that are part of Tuscola I and Tuscola II “wind farms” in Gilford, Fairgrove, Akron, and Wisner townships. Hearings are scheduled for October on those petitions.
With Consumers’ new petitions, the assessed tax value of “most, if not all” wind turbines in Tuscola County are being contested by the wind energy companies, said Mike Hoagland, controller, Tuscola County.
“We’re frustrated,” said Hoagland. “If we lose the dispute, we have to have the money set aside to pay it back.
“We have sizable sums that have been escrowed,” he said. (Read full story)
(This story first appeared in the June 18, 2016 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read online here.)