Nova Scotia lowers property taxes on wind projects

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The Nova Scotia government has passed legislation that will drop property taxes on wind projects from among the highest in Canada to somewhere in the middle of the pack. A 2005 study by the Canadian Wind Energy Association showed the average property taxes for a 20 MW wind project in Nova Scotia were C$679,810 a year, compared with C$42,785 in Ontario. Under the new regime, new wind projects will pay C$5500 a megawatt no matter where they are in the province. Existing projects will pay C$4500 a megawatt. Developers will also pay taxes on the assessed value of land and buildings based on the local tax rate. The new system levels the playing field between independent developers and Nova Scotia Power, which had enjoyed preferential treatment. Charles Demond of Atlantic Windpower Corporation says the new system is a sensible balance between the financial needs of rural communities and developers. "The legislation provides a very attractive stream of predictable tax revenue and is a first step for the viability of wind farm development in Nova Scotia," he says.

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