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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Circle Power guaranteeing tax payments to local government

One of the thorny issues surrounding wind power in the State of Michigan is the ability of producers to dramatically reduce their property taxes after installation. Circle Power is taking the issue off the table for its proposed project in Adams Township. Vice President Chris Moore says his company is happy to address other sticking points as well.

We’re more than willing to put in place whatever agreements are required to make people comfortable. We’ve proposed a PILOT agreement, or PILT agreement, payment in lieu of taxes that guarantees that taxes get paid. We’re looking to put in place a decommissioning fund to ensure when the project needs to be taken down that the funds are available to take it down.

Circle Power has created a payment structure that will guarantee $15.9 in tax revenue, which it says benefits Adams Township, the local and Copper Country Intermediate School Districts, and Houghton County.

Lawsuits are currently pending from Sigel and Bloomfield Townships, both in the Thumb region, over a tax tribunal decision that ruled the municipalities actually owed utility companies like DTE Energy over $1 million related to levies initially assessed for the years 2016-2021. The issue is now before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Eighteen other wind parks in Huron County alone are asking for similar refunds, with the potential exposure to local governments in excess of $20 million.

The full release from Circle Power is available here.

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