In many parts of Iowa, wind turbines can be seen spinning above farm fields. These wind farms generate significant tax revenue for the counties where they’re located.
Alex Delworth of the nonprofit Center for Rural Affairs is author of a recent report on the impact of wind tax revenue in three Iowa counties: Story, Ida, and Marshall.
He says the counties had various strategies for collecting and dispersing the funds, but all saw big economic benefits.
“Overall, wind tax revenue has allowed counties to increase funding to a number of essential services, make pretty high-investment infrastructure improvements, and pay for specific special projects without raising the tax burden on local community members,” Delworth says.
For example, Ida County has financed about $30-million-worth of road and highway improvements.
Meanwhile, the wind turbines in Marshall County have increased the tax base.
“Without the turbines, the property tax in their county would have increased by 22% to cover the same amount of services,” Delworth says.
So Iowa’s booming wind energy industry generates a lot more than clean energy. The report shows it can also help support education, health, and infrastructure in rural counties.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media