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Property tax on wind turbines
1 April 1994
n the latest step in a long running legal wrangle over whether wind turbines in Holland are "machines" or "real estate" the Supreme Court has overturned an earlier ruling from the local Leeuwarden court. According to the Supreme Court it seems that wind farms are "real estate" and therefore liable to property taxes, based on the value of the entire project. The Leeuwarden court had decided that only part of a wind farm could be regarded as "real estate" and therefore only part of its value was liable for property tax. This original ruling was made after the Franekeradeel local authority demanded property taxes from the Oosterbierum Wind Park, owned by utility organisation SEP. SEP had argued that wind turbines were machines and not real estate. The Supreme Court apparently disagrees, however: a wind turbine is a structure which will remain in the landscape and is therefore "real estate." It has now returned the matter back to the legal process, this time to a lower court in Arnhem. The Arnhem court will have the job of establishing what, if any, parts of a wind turbine should be classified as "machinery" and what parts of a wind farm should be liable for property tax
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