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Top 5 of 2018: From the desk of the executive director: Where have all the bankers gone?

Countdown time! With less than one week remaining in 2018, a recap is in order. So, here's a review of the five best Center stories of the year, chosen by the most views on our website.

Number five features a piece authored by Executive Director Brian Depew. He takes a look at banking in rural communities and talks about our lending work at the Center.

Wind energy yields tax revenue

Wind energy projects in North Dakota have generated millions of dollars in tax revenue for rural communities over the last several years. In 2015, the projects generated $1,126,934 in electric generation tax revenue, and, in 2016, they generated $7.7 million dollars in property tax revenue. This new revenue was used to fund schools, roads, and other essential services like fire and emergency medical services.

Wind projects generate more than energy

Many people wonder what their community will get out of wind development, and in South Dakota, wind projects have generated more than energy. Important tax revenue for local schools, roads, and more have come from these projects.

In South Dakota, contributions of the projects came through nameplate capacity and production taxes, providing a tool for localities to offset the need for higher taxes. The nameplate capacity tax is based on the total energy generation of the project while the production tax assesses the actual production of a wind energy system.

Wind energy provides a breath of fresh air

Wind energy projects have proven to be an important economic development tool for counties across rural America. In Nebraska, these projects generated nearly $3 million in tax revenue for local schools – accumulating a total of $3,065,623 in 2017. The contributions were used to fund schools, roads, and other essential services. As rural economies look to diversify their revenue streams without raising taxes, wind energy projects could provide a breath of fresh air.

What is a market-based approach to water quality?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a joint letter to state and tribal regulators encouraging market-based, collaborative approaches to reduce excess nutrients in waterways. But, few other details were offered on how to best take this approach. Now that the EPA has released some clarifications around the Waters of the U.S. ruling, it appears new efforts could be on the horizon.

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