For Release 12:00pm
Solar Project To Provide Property Tax Guarantee
Groveland Mine Solar Project To Make Binding Commitment to Local Governments and School Districts
Iron Mountain, MI— 10/18/22 — Circle Power is a Michigan-based renewable energy company repurposing a former industrial site, the decommissioned Groveland Mine, for a solar farm that will create taxable value for the region. Groveland Mine Solar will provide substantial new revenue to local governments and create construction jobs. To guarantee local revenues, the Circle Power team worked with law firm Miller Johnson to draft Property Tax Guaranty contracts. The contracts will provide certainty to local governments and allow supported communities to make smart investments towards services, education, equipment, and infrastructure, knowing that the tax revenue amounts from Groveland Mine Solar will be paid.
This guarantee has been offered in the wake of corporations taking advantage of the so-called “Dark Store” loophole, appealing their tax bill to the State Tax Tribunal on the basis that property would be worth a fraction of its current taxable value if it were "dark” (i.e., the recent appeal of Dollar General in Iron Mountain). Michigan has seen well-publicized cases of companies challenging the value of wind turbines at the State Tax Tribunal years after the projects were constructed based on changes in state tax policy. The Property Tax Guarantee is designed to guard against these outcomes, forming a legally binding agreement between the Groveland Mine Solar Project and the Townships.
To guarantee the revenues, Circle Power is offering three contracts, one to each of Felch, Norway, and Sagola Townships, committing Groveland Mine Solar to make minimum revenue payments to the project’s local taxing entities over a 30-year period. In addition to securing funding for the Townships themselves, it would also guarantee each township’s share of revenues to Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, North Dickinson Schools, Dickinson County, and the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District.
In July, Circle Power shared revenue estimates for the project that totaled $12 million. Now, the Company is offering to guarantee those projections if the entire project is built. If less than the entire project is built, the guarantee would be adjusted proportionally. If tax rates increase in the future or if the project costs more to build than Circle Power’s estimates, local governments would receive more than the amounts guaranteed in the contracts. The property tax guarantee simply commits Groveland Mine Solar to a minimum payment stream to local entities.
By offering the Property Tax Guarantee contracts, Circle Power aims to support local governments and demonstrate how important it is that Felch, Norway, Sagola Townships and Dickinson County have certainty as they plan for future spend. For more information on this project, visit www.grovelandminesolar.com. To learn more about the team’s experience, their mission and values, and the company’s projects, visit www.circlepowerco.com