Wind energy paying off for Olympia's tax base

2010-12-14T12:17:00Z 2010-12-15T16:30:18Z Wind energy paying off for Olympia's tax baseBy Patti Welander | pswelander@gmail.com pantagraph.com
December 14, 2010 12:17 pm  • 

STANFORD -- Homeowners in the Olympia school district won't see an increase in their tax rate next year, but the district will receive an additional $441,208 of property tax revenue thanks in part to Horizon Wind Energy's Railsplitter Wind Farm.

"The wind farms are really helping generate revenue," business and operations manager Andrew Wise told the board Monday night. The wind farm increased the district's equalized assessed value by $4.8 million.

Farmland increased an average of 8 percent, also contributing to the increase in revenue.

The board passed a 2010 property tax levy of $11,918,375. The resulting tax rate should be around its current level of $4.85.

The district is levying less in some funds in order to issue $750,000 in working cash bonds within the $4.85 tax rate.

Last month, Superintendent Brad Hutchison said the bonds are necessary because the state is behind in its payments.

The district recently received $566,000 from the state that was owed last year.

"We are happy to get last year's money, but we still need to come up with a reliable revenue stream," Hutchison said after the meeting.

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