Following a wind energy boom, Iowa generates millions in tax revenue

Release Date: 

05/01/2019

Contact(s): 

Lu Nelsen, policy associate, lucasn@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1022; Cody Smith, policy writing assistant, codys@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1016; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager, rheal@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

NEVADA, IOWA – As nearly 40 percent of Iowa’s energy needs are met by wind energy, communities that host renewable energy projects are generating millions in tax revenue. A fact sheet released today by the Center for Rural Affairs analyzes how Iowa’s wind energy projects generate these tax payments.

“Iowa Wind Energy Tax Revenue” highlights tax revenue contributions of 7,312 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity through approximately 4,145 turbines located in the state. One project, MidAmerican Energy’s “Wind XI,” is estimated to generate $12.5 million in property taxes each year.

“Many people wonder what their community will get out of wind development,” said Lu Nelsen, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs and author of the publication. “New tax revenue from a wind farm is something that benefits an entire community.”

Benefits from wind energy projects also include direct payments to landowners who host turbines, employment opportunities during the construction and operation of a project, and new spending infused into the local economy. In addition, operators of projects may provide payments to neighbors who are near development but do not host turbines.

Tax revenue from wind projects in Iowa is primarily derived from property taxes on equipment associated with projects, including the turbines and other electrical systems like power lines and substations. In addition, counties may create ordinances for special valuation of wind energy production systems.

“As Iowans move toward a renewable future, increased tax revenue from wind projects will be a huge benefit for small towns across the state,” Nelsen said. “Communities can make use of new revenue generated by projects to fund critical functions like schools and emergency services without raising local taxes.”

For more information and to view the fact sheet, visit cfra.org/publications/WindEnergyTaxRevenueIA.