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August 28, 2012

Roxbury tax rate plummets due to wind farm

Roxbury residents seem pleased with their property tax bills this year, largely because of the $610,000 tax windfall the Oxford County town has received from the Record Hill wind farm.

According to the Sun Journal, the town's 2012-2013 tax bill reflects a drop in the tax rate from $16.86 to $6.93 per $1,000 valuation due to tax revenues generated by the wind farm.

In addition to the sizeable property tax reduction, Roxbury residents receive a $111 check every three months from Record Hill Wind to cover the cost of their electricity, the newspaper reported.

Record Hill Wind is a 50.6 megawatt wind project consisting of 22 turbines along the ridgeline that connects Partridge Peak, Record Hill and Flathead Mountain, according to the company website. The electrical output of the $125 million project is estimated to be approximately 122 million kilowatt hours per year, nearly equivalent to the electricity needs of every household in Oxford County.

In March a congressional report called into question a $102 million federal loan guarantee given to the project, which was developed in part by Brunswick-based Independence Wind. But company officials dispute the report, saying they acted in accordance with all federal guidelines. At that time, it was also reported that former Maine Gov. Angus King sold off his stake in Independence Wind to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest during his run as an Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

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