Wind Taxation Discussed at Revenue Committee Meeting

State Representative Mike Madden
State Representative Mike Madden

The Wyoming Legislature's Joint Revenue Interim Committee met in Buffalo last week and discussed a number of tax issues, including wind taxation and possible changes to the model.

A number of years ago, the Wyoming Legislature had passed an exemption to the sales taxes that would normally be paid during construction of the wind turbines. That had an unintended impact on the industrial siting portion of the statutes.

State Representative Mike Madden, (R-Buffalo), who is on the committee, explains what the impact is.

Without the sales tax on the equipment used to build these wind farms, Madden said, there is no money to fund the industrial siting process, which means the counties and other local governments were essentially footing the bill and subsidizing the wind farms built in their counties.

Madden also said the committee, two years ago, lifted the sales tax exemption and imposed a “wind generation fee,” commensurate with taxes the coal and natural gas industries pay for the use of those fuels to generate electricity.

The Legislature passed the generation tax at $1 per megawatt hour and left the sales tax at 5%.

Now the windpower industry, he said, is wanting to renegotiate the tax structure from the building of the farms through generation of power.

The committee voted, at Madden's request, to readdress the issue at their next meeting next month in Worland.

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