Bill could allow schools to keep more in reserves


PIERRE (CNS) – South Dakota House members passed an incentive plan Friday that lawmakers hope will attract more wind energy to South Dakota.

The plan would tax the towers and concrete bases of wind turbines as real property that’s locally assessed, the bill’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Bill Peterson, R-Sioux Falls, said.

The bill was drafted to accommodate a 40-megawatt project east of Highmore proposed by FPL Group, Inc, a subsidiary of Florida Power & Light Company..

Peterson said the bill made very simple changes to the state’s tax structure, but would create an incentive. It is estimated the product will create 150 construction jobs and four to five permanent jobs.

“This is the first step on a long road to developing wind energy in South Dakota,” he said.

Rep. Gerald Lange, D-Madison, argued that the bill wasn’t far-reaching enough. “We need some kind of long-term development plan,” he said.

The House voted 69-0 to pass the bill and moves to the Senate.