Trump’s tax reform plans could threaten wind-power financing

(Bloomberg) — Wind-power skeptic Donald Trump’s proposed tax reform may have an unintended consequence: threatening wind farms’ balance sheets......The president-elect’s proposal to cut the corporate tax rate to as low as 15% may curb availability of an esoteric, but critical, clean-energy financing mechanism known as tax equity......That could significantly curb businesses’ need for tax credits. It would also drag down wind developers’ after-tax internal rates of returns..........

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Comment by Pineo Girl on January 19, 2017 at 10:49pm

Bottom line to me is that there needs to be a moratorium on TIFS  in Maine until someone figures out how many are out there, how many tax dollars are involved, and what are they have been used for! I think the Baldacci administration gave TIF priority to wind farms!  Can't the citizen s of Clifton figure out how they are getting used yet?

Comment by Paula D Kelso on January 19, 2017 at 10:39pm

Bottom line is Pisgah's taxes will probably be about $250,000 a year. Clifton can take that in just like any property tax and pay more for school assessment and more for county government assessment and get less revenue sharing and education money from the state or 'shelter' that money with a TIF. The town government hasn't seen fit yet after almost a year of meetings with a paid TIF consultant - an expense not approved by a town vote - to make public the details of the TIF deal they are considering. It remains to be seen how much of that $250,000 is returned to Pisgah's owners and how much is kept in a separate TIF account for uses determined by a select committee. Can't be used to lower taxes, or on regular budget stuff. Has to be one of a kind stuff. Can you just imagine the shenanigans that is going to bring on. No reduction in my property taxes but Pisgah gets a rebate to reward them for putting this town through chaos for the past six years. When I questioned the use of the Legal Reserve account for paying the consultant, the town's administrative assistant told me it didn't really matter because when the TIF started the TIF money would be used to repay the Legal Reserve account. Well, s***head, what if the TIF doesn't pass? What if you need the legal account money to pay for a court battle over the shady stuff that goes on in this town? Oh, that's right, just work around money in other accounts. Nobody is looking anyway. Just like when the selectmen signed a right-of-way over town property to Emera Maine without a town vote. They are not a council and Clifton does not have a charter. The selectmen are not the legislative body.

Comment by Pineo Girl on January 19, 2017 at 8:35pm

Paula - You are dealing with inept people who own the Pisgah Mountain project and tried to make a buck off of tax credits! They are the ultimate exploiters! If Clifton voters go for this they are close to the stupidest people on Earth!  As for payoffs - someone miss the memo - Some of them were sexual!!  

On a lighter note - TIF funding is being misused according to it statute- There needs to be a moratorium on TIFS until their actual return on investment can be evaluated!

Comment by arthur qwenk on January 19, 2017 at 5:29pm

They are paid off. It would behoove the wind opponents to hire a private investigator and use FOIA to see how much the town selectmen (council) received in bribe money. They pass money for favors for sure.That is wind modus operandi. It is worth pursuing, as nothing  other than legal action will phase them. They can be charged with civil crimes even if performing their functions under the guise of protection for doing town business if they accepted kick backs of any kind.  

Comment by Paula D Kelso on January 19, 2017 at 3:10pm


This is what's been royally pissing me off here in Clifton. In 2011, Pisgah Mountain LLC "proved" to the town planning board that they had the $25 million for 5 turbines. After all the legal battles settled, with the Superior Judge saying they hadn't proven that to his satisfaction they had financial capacity but couldn't make a finding on that alone, then the Supreme Court not addressing financial

capacity; then Pisgah was free to go peddle their permit to find financing. Only five years later and the permit going stale did they find their sweetheart deal with a tax equity investor. And now the turbines are up and running, the town has the idiocy to still want to set up a TIF. That's tax increment financing. The damn thing is built and all the money for five years or so will go out of state and our stupid town wants to rebate property tax money to these scammers. If our town citizens are stupid enough to agree to this further outrage, they haven't been paying very close attention.

Comment by arthur qwenk on January 18, 2017 at 1:25pm

Tax Equity and Yieldcos are financial  derivative scams utilized by companies like SunEdison  (and First Wind), when they existed to derive perceived profitability . This failed  sophisticated Ponzi scheme ,with the blessing of Enron actors such as Paul Gaynor, should have been denied by the SEC  from the beginning. 

Comment by Gary Campbell on January 18, 2017 at 10:35am

Let the market separate the winners from the losers, not the government.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on January 18, 2017 at 9:20am

Worldwide, more people are being affected by industrial wind turbines, and the impacts are unhealthy, expensive, environmentally destructive and unnecessary. Wind companies can no longer be dismissive and cavalier about millions of people protesting worldwide. There is a common denominator, and no matter how much lobbying the wind industry does, it is becoming clear to more people every day that wind energy comes at a significant cost to human health, and at the expense of the well-being of many animal species, either by harming or killing, or by habitat fragmentation or destruction. Wind energy is expensive and those expenses are borne by the very residents that pay taxes that support the lavish incentives given by governments who want to ignore the facts. It destroys rural lands as mega-ton machinery compacts soils and ruins roads. It disrupts the community physically and also creates friction among people who used to live peacefully. Noise, infrasound, shadow-flicker, air pressure fluctuations, and a host of other issues are all too real, not things that can be mitigated or ameliorated once these industrial wind turbines are erected.

Comment by Penny Gray on January 18, 2017 at 8:59am

So wind developers sell their tax credits to banks and other high profit corporations,presumably for more than they're worth, so these other non-renewable companies can reduce their own tax payments to the US?  Holy samolians.  No wonder these wind developers brag that wind power is so cheap!  My heart would just bleed so heavily for these shysters if they lost all their subsidies and tax credits and had to play the game honestly.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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