Tax Exemptions for Large Commercial Wind Farms

In South Dakota, wind farms constructed after July 1, 2007 are eligible for an alternative taxation calculation in lieu of all taxes on real and personal property levied by the state, counties, municipalities, schools, and other political subdivisions. The definition of "wind farm" includes only facilities producing electricity for commercial sale and having a minimum nameplate capacity of 5 MW. All property used or constructed to interconnect individual wind turbines within a wind farm into a common project, termed the "collector system", is eligible for the exemption and alternative taxation. The alternative taxation method has two components: the first component is an annual tax equal to $3/kilowatt (kW) of the nameplate capacity of the wind farm, prorated according to when the wind farm begins operation during the first calendar year; the second component is a 2% annual tax on the gross receipts of the wind farm. The gross receipts are calculated as the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) produced multiplied by a base electricity rate of $0.0475/kWh in 2008, with the base rate increasing by 2.5% annually thereafter. A partial rebate of the taxes paid under this formula is available for the construction of transmission lines in South Dakota that serve an eligible facility. The total maximum rebate is 50% of the combined cost of the transmission lines and wind farm collector system. The maximum rebate in one year is 90% of the gross receipts tax for the first 5 years and 50% of the gross receipts tax for the next 5 years. No rebates will be issued after this 10-year period. Up to 80% of the rebate may be issued in the form of a tax credit in lieu of full payment of the gross receipts tax. Contact: South Dakota Department of Revenue and Regulation, Property and Special Tax Division, 445 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501-3100; 605-773-5120; 605-773-6729;

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