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Private solar company seeks bond ordinance in Wynne

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:51 PM CDT
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WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - The city of Wynne is considering a bond ordinance from solar company RWE that city officials say could benefit both parties.

The bond ordinance would allow the company to reduce or eliminate up to 65% of taxes on the property the solar field is built on.

Right now, they’re looking to lease farmland, located near the Eakers Arkansas company off Highway 1.

The property would be rezoned to commercial which would increase the property taxes.

The solar panels would also be assessed into the tax.

While the city won’t benefit from the energy made from the solar project if the bond ordinance is approved, the company would still have to pay 35% of the new tax value.

Mayor Jennifer Hobbs says this would increase tax revenue.

“The way tax structure is you know the majority of the benefit would go toward the school systems which is great for the students, then a minor portion would come to the city and the county as well,” said Hobbs.

Hobbs says typically the payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement is used for economic development projects.

While it is unusual, the agreement would benefit the company by allowing them to pay fewer taxes and the city by giving more tax revenue than they’re currently getting.

Hobbs said the company will not build the solar project until they have a commitment from a buyer for the energy generated by the solar field.

The final reading and vote on the bond ordinance are expected to happen at the July city council meeting.

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