Get ready for a fight, Texas. You are certainly aware of all of those wind farms popping up in my west Texas home where I grew up? Well, it seems that the wind farm companys have deals worked out with several school districts to funnel money to those school districts and in a way, circumvent the state’s Robin Hood plan.
Ordinarily, much of the tax money generated by the turbines would go to the state’s “Robin Hood” school finance plan, which requires property-rich districts to share their wealth with those less fortunate. But that won’t happen if school officials have their way.
The Associated Press, using data compiled by the state comptroller’s office, found that the agreements will allow 44 school districts, including 21 in the Big Country, to receive nearly $248 million over the next 10 years, the districts’ cut of more than $700 million in tax breaks they granted wind farm operators. Another 21 school districts have made similar deals, but the agreements had not been completed when the data was collected by the comptroller.
“It’s the school districts giving away the state’s money, and the state has nothing to say about it,” said Dick Lavine, senior fiscal analyst for the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities.
It would seem to me that each school district should be able to keep their own money, but I was never a fan of the Robin Hood plan anyway. What are your thoughts?
Dozens of school districts to get $248M from wind farm deals (Reporternews.com)