Michigan Tax Tribunal Cases

County gets update on wind turbine tax appeals: Tax tribunal will deliver opinion in January

BAD AXE — The legal fight to get utility companies to pay what county representatives say is their fair share of taxes for wind turbines took another step this week.

Carl Osentoski, the executive director of the Huron County Economic Development Council, and Richard Sundquist, of Cark Hill PLC, provided the Huron County Board of Commissioners an update on the tax appeal efforts.
It involves five Michigan counties, Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, Gratiot, and Mason, who have pooled together their resources to take on the legal teams of the utility companies like Consumers Energy and DTE.
Hearings before the tax tribunal have occurred since 2011, with the most recent ones involving Sigel Township.
Sundquist believes that no matter what the tax tribunal’s verdict is, DTE and Consumers will appeal the decision, as they have with with other decisions they didn’t agree with in the past.


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Turbine tax showdown with energy giants planned for this summer

Brenda Battel, Tribune Staff Writer And Mary Drier For the Tribune:Wednesday, February 15, 2017
UPPER THUMB — With millions of dollars in local revenue at stake, the long-time
controversy over the way wind turbines are taxed will be heading to court this summer.
Carl Osentoski, who coordinates the Michigan Renewable Energy Collaborative
(MREC), said the dispute connected to the NextEra Energy Resources LLC project in
Tuscola County’s Gilford Township will he heard mid-to-late summer.
After several years of waiting, the issue of changing the taxable rate of wind turbines in
the Tuscola Bay Wind Farm will be heard.

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Huron commissioner breaks down turbine taxes

Attorney fees

MREC has paid $1.6 million to the Clark Hill Law Firm to fight for the Appraisal Economics table to be used in valuation, which would preserve $8.1 million in wind turbine revenue from 2016.

Huron County’s portion of that bill, as of Dec. 2016, was $458,773.80, Wruble said.
The county’s share is $177,781.61; HISD’s share is $133,254.64; and the townships’ share is $147,737.55.
Currently, there are 466 pending cases at the tax tribunal, most of which were filed in 2016, he added.

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Note that the following occurred while they were attempting to get permission to build additional Wind Farms. 

NextEra pulls turbine tax appeals

UPPER THUMB — Local counties, municipalities and school districts will be able to hold on to disputed wind turbine tax revenue following recent action by NextEra Energy Resources.
All tax disputes involving NextEra wind turbines in Huron and Tuscola counties have been resolved.
NextEra has withdrawn its appeals with the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT) for its Pheasant Run and Tuscola Wind II wind parks.

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Exelon agrees to settle wind turbine tax appeals

September 15, 2016 | 

Exelon settles turbine tax appeals|Exelon agrees to settle wind turbine tax appeals Brenda Battel, Tribune Staff Writer HURON COUNTY – Exelon Corp. recently settled three years worth of wind turbine tax appeals

The Exelon settlement is for 2013 through 2015, according to the report from the Michigan Renewable Energy Collaborative (MREC), submitted by coordinator Carl Osentoski, executive director of the Huron County Economic Development Corp.

A tax tribunal judge also recently ruled in favor of MREC in the case of 66 turbines in Blumfield and Gilford Townships in Tuscola County, which is part of MREC, along with Huron, Sanilac, Mason and Gratiot counties.

Although NextEra is appealing the ruling, it bodes well for MREC, Osentoski said. It indicates that “he’s leaning in our direction at least on that issue.”

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CARO — During a Michigan Renewable Energy Collaborative (MEREC) meeting, leaders of the group encouraged members to continue challenging the state’s arbitrary change of the depreciation tax formula on wind turbines.

In 2011, the Michigan Tax Commission changed the taxing formula which resulted in millions of dollars of lost revenue to all the taxing units where there are wind farms are located as well as a revenue loss from future development.

The areas impacted by the tax change are primarily five counties — Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, Mason, and Gratiot as well as the several townships in those counties. Leaders in those areas are the ones who formed the grassroots MEREC to challenge tax change.

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Brookfield joins fight for tax assessment of turbines

August 11, 2016 | 

“If there are 100 turbines in a development, that’s 100 tax appeals.”  Lorencz told the Tribune that each turbine has $1.5 million in taxable value.  The wind developers are saying that each of the turbines are worth about $154,000 less than that in taxable value.

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County hopes for compromise on turbine taxes

October 16, 2012

BAD AXE ­— The Michigan Renewable Energy Collaborative, a multiple-county organization including Huron, may be moving toward a compromise on wind turbine tax values with DTE.

The dispute’s roots go back to the fall of 2011 when the state tax commission lowered the taxable value of wind turbineshttps://www.michigansthumb.com/news/article/County-hopes-for-compromise-on-turbine-taxes-7293810.php

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County will fight for wind turbine tax values

September 13, 2012

The disagreement is with Michigan’s State Tax Commission, which voted last fall to lower the taxable value of wind turbines

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