JAN 17 2002
Clear Lake Courier
Deuel DRA To Host District Four Legislative Cracker Barrel Saturday
Dakota Rural Action's Deuel County Chapter is hosting a Legislative Cracker Barrel on Saturday, January 19. The event will be at the Clear Lake Municipal meeting room beginning at 12:00 Noon with a BBQ lunch.
Tim Begalka, Jim Peterson and Larry Dietrich, District Four legislative representatives, will be in attendance. The group will be discussing recently introduced Senate wind energy bill and their impact on District Four.
To date, four Senate Bills have been introduced pertaining to wind energy. Senate Bill One allows for a refund or credit of the excise tax on power production facilities utilizing sun, wind, geothermal, biomass, coal, or water resources. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Taxation Committee.
Senate Bill Two allows for a refund or credit of the excise tax on all power production facilities utilizing renewable resources, such as sun, wind, geothermal, or biomass. The bill has also been assigned to the Senate Taxation Committee.
Senate Bill Three is an appropriation from the Energy Conservation Fund for West River Research. It requests $47,000 for west river wind resource monitoring to compliment the current east river project 'Wind Resource Assessment Network1. E-mail address is www.engineering.sdstate.edu/~wran/. Dr. Mike Ropp, South Dakota State University in Brookings would facilitate the project in conjunction with staff at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. The bill has been assigned to the Appropriations Committee.
Senate Bill Four is a Property Tax Incentive that states:
-Renewable power companies will be centrally assessed annually;
-First five years after construction, taxes are calculated at 50% of final assessed value;
-Sixth year will be 60% of assessed value;
-Seventh year will be at 70%;
-Eighth year will be 80% of assessed value;
-Ninth year will be at 90%; and
-Tenth year will be calculated at 100% of the assessed value.
This bill has been assigned to the Senate Taxation Committee.
There will be time for questions, other issues and general interest discussions. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the South Dakota legislative process.
Dale Roth, Chairperson for DRA Deuel County Chapter, says "Everyone knows we have wind, now is the time to put it to good use."
One of the obstacles to that goal of 'putting the wind to good use1 is the lack of South Dakota State policy incentives. Surrounding states have implemented both policy incentives and renewable mandates for power producers. These policies have made it less expensive to develop the wind resource in neighboring states. For example, OtterTail Power Corporation put up a wind turbine in Minnesota but is proposing an additional cost plant at Big Stone City in South Dakota.
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