By: Brittany Flaherty Theis

Senate Bill 2612 amends Division 18 of the Illinois Property Tax Code (“Division 18”) relating to the assessment of wind energy devices. Senate Bill 2612 was introduced in the Senate in February 2016. It was sponsored by Senator David Koehler and Senator Pamela Althoff. It passed both houses on May 26, 2016 and was signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 16, 2016. Prior to Senate Bill 2612, the provisions of Division 18 applied only to assessment years 2007 through 2016. Senate Bill 2612 extended their application through the 2021 assessment year.

Division 18 defines “wind energy devices” to mean any device with a nameplate capacity of at least .5 megawatts that is used in the process of converting kinetic energy from wind to generate electric power for commercial sale. Section 10-605 of Division 18 provides that, beginning in assessment year 2007, the fair cash value of wind energy devices was to be determined by subtracting the allowance for physical depreciation from the trended real property cost basis. 2007 real property cost basis was defined as $360,000 per megawatt of nameplate capacity. That amount represents both the land and real property improvements, but excludes personal property.

Prior to the 2007 assessment year, wind energy devices were assessed according to the assessment practices of each county. Division 18 enhanced uniformity between counties and facilitated financial planning for owners of wind energy devices and taxing bodies with wind energy devices within their corporate boundaries.

Attorneys at Whitt Law’s Aurora and Springfield offices monitor legislation with the potential to impact its clients and Whitt Law’s lobbyists advocate for the best interests of its clients. In 2007, Whitt Law Partner Joshua Whitt was a principal draftsman of Division 18. Please contact Whitt Law Attorney Brian Wojcicki if you have questions regarding the ways in which Whitt Law can assist you.

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