This week lawmakers are expected to approve across-the-board cuts to fix Oklahoma’s budget hole. Guess who isn’t giving up anything ….Big Wind!
Oklahoma taxpayers continue to pay out millions in tax subsides to multi-billion-dollar companies that don’t need the support, while several state services face drastic cuts. To put it simply, we’re prioritizing wind subsidies over education, healthcare, mental health, public safety and transportation.
Click here to learn the latest and let your lawmakers know that you demand more for Oklahoma!
You’ve seen the claim that Big Wind funds local schools. The truth is YOU paid the tax, and they take the credit.
OK WindPower ® claims the industry paid $74,127,429 in 2017 Ad Valorem taxes in 23 Oklahoma counties to support local schools. What they failed to admit is that Oklahoma taxpayers actually paid more than 80 percent of those taxes.
The State Constitution requires Oklahoma’s general fund reimburse local public services, such as counties, school districts and fire departments, for lost revenue from ad valorem exemptions.
- Wind projects built prior to 2017 receive Ad Valorem exemptions for the first 5 years. Seventy-two percent of the wind generation capacity in Oklahoma is still exempt from paying taxes.
- Taxpayers paid more than $60 million of the $74 million claimed by OK WindPower ®.
- Many counties with the largest number of wind turbines did not receive tax money directly from Wind. Instead, Oklahoma taxpayers paid it.
- These funds could have paid for a $1,500 pay raise for every teacher in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma pays wind companies .005 cents for each kWh of electricity generated by wind turbines. Although legislation was passed to end the ability for new projects to qualify after July 1, 2017, projects built before that date will be paid subsidies for 10 years.
Based on 2016-2017 electricity production from eligible wind facilities, Oklahomans are at risk to pay an additional $930 million before the credit ends.
These are estimates based on wind production facilities eligible for tax credits. The Oklahoma Tax Commission has not yet released 2016 actuals.
But Does it Really Benefit Oklahomans?
As reported by the American Wind Energy Association, Oklahoma now ranks second in wind production. That translates into millions more in profit for an already multi-billion-dollar industry.
Yet, Oklahoma missed out on more than $16 million in lost revenue because the wind industry doesn’t pay ANY sales taxes, unlike all other energy producers.
The good news is, effective July 2017, no additional industrial wind facilities will qualify for the Zero Emissions Tax Credit paid by the State of Oklahoma. The additional 2,217 Megawatts of capacity completed and in the advance stages of planning after the cutoff proves what we have always said: the industry will continue to grow and thrive without exorbitant Oklahoma subsidies.
However, there is still more to do. Wind projects that were completed before July 2017 qualified for ten years of Zero Emissions Tax Credits from the date they went into service. Oklahoma taxpayers are on the hook to pay more than $930 million before the credit ends for good. It is also evident that Oklahoma is losing out on millions in revenue through the wind sales tax exemption.
Bottom line, it is time for this wildly successful industry to compete on its own merits and contribute to Oklahoma. Big Wind continues to profit from our natural resources without paying its fair share of the costs to advance Oklahoma.