I own farmland in both Newman Township and Champaign County, and taxes are noticeably cheaper in Champaign County even though the University of Illinois is there. The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will keep from raising our taxes and revitalize this area, an area that is steadily losing its tax base. Our community is drying up, and the wind farm is giving us another chance.
I’m a trustee in a neighboring township, and I can’t imagine going against the township attorney’s advice and intentionally walking into a lawsuit that will result in even higher taxes. It doesn’t cost anything to wait on the sideline and wait for the Murdock Township lawsuit decision. There’s no harm in waiting. The only harm is in putting additional taxpayer dollars at risk when we’re already struggling.
The wind farm will provide more than $50 million in tax revenues to Douglas County over the project’s lifetime, money that would otherwise come out of our pockets! The schools benefit the most, with over $1 million going to Shiloh, Heritage and Villa Grove school districts in tax payments in the first year and over $25 million over the next 30 years. We can’t afford to turn down this opportunity for our future or our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.
I used to oppose wind farms because I didn’t think them made sense economically. But after doing my homework, it’s clear that wind farms are both economical and economically beneficial for the communities where they’re built, something that Newman Township desperately needs.