CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s one-of-a-kind wind tax resulted in nearly $3.8 million in tax revenue during fiscal year 2014, according to the Department of Revenue. That marks a 46 percent increase over the previous year.
Future growth in wind revenue is expected to be limited, said DOR Director Dan Noble. The $1-per-megawatt-hour tax begins three years after producers commence operations. Almost all of the state’s wind farms paid the tax this year and, with new developments like the 1,000-turbine Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm still in the permitting stage, tax collectors don’t expect to see revenues increase much beyond $4 million in the coming years, Noble said.
“In the grand scheme of things, the number is not a big amount,” Noble said. “But certainly it is not trivial. Four million dollars is not a little amount of money.”
The tax distributes 60 percent of the collected proceeds to the counties with wind development. The remainder is returned to the state’s general fund.
Wyoming is the only state in the country to tax wind power. Last year was the tax’s first, generating about $2.6 million revenue.