Wind farms blow dollars to Willacy schoolsWind farms blow dollars to Willacy schoolshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=51462014-01-29T09:29:00Z2014-01-28T00:00:00Z

LYFORD, WILLACY COUNTY - Lyford Consolidated Independent School District’s (LCISD) property tax collections soared from $2.9 million in 2012 to $10 million in 2013, according to Antonio Chavez, district tax assessor-collector.

Wind farms are pumping the new tax revenue into LCISD, which traditionally depends on property taxes generated by declining oil and gas production, said Willacy County Chief Appraiser Agustin Lopez.

E.ON and Duke Energy have built more than 200 of the Willacy County’s approximately 280 wind turbines within the district’s 356-square-mile area, said Chavez.

The monetary windfall boosts the district’s general fund budget to $17 million, according to Elisa Rosas, business manager.

New tax revenue has helped officials construct a $700,000 transportation building, install $300,000 worth of fencing to secure district property and earmark about $80,000 for security cameras, according to Superintendent Eduardo Infante.

As part of an agreement, the district will tax the wind turbines at an assessed value not to exceed $10 million during an approximately ten-year period. The district will again tax the wind farms at full market value after the ten-year period.

Chicago-based E.ON, built 112 wind turbines in a ten-mile area east of I-69 and north of FM 186, between Raymondville and Port Mansfield. The company now is proposing construction of 112 to 116 wind turbines in an area north of FM 186 and east of I-69.

In 2013, the county’s oil and gas production generated $122.3 million in property tax revenue, compared to $333.7 million in 2008, according to Lopez.

For more cities and counties, see the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Valley Morning Star
Infrastructure & Transportation
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