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Expiring Subsidies, Not Free Markets, Driving Minnesota Solar Growth

Renewable energy advocates often claim that business is booming for the solar industry in Minnesota, and this is true. However, in order to determine whether this is a good or bad thing for Minnesota residents, it is important to understand why this is the case. A recent article suggests the recent demand in solar development is happening because people want to cash in on the federal solar subsidies before the tax credits taper off over the next five years. According to an article in the Rochester Post Bulletin: "When Steve and Dawn Finnie opened Little Thistle Brewing Co., they had long-term plans...

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American Experiment Opposes the Carbon Tax Scam

Last week, 75 conservative organizations signed a public letter to Congress opposing “any carbon tax” days after reports that Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney openly considered backing carbon tax bill, and American Experiment was one of them. The letter, circulated by Americans for Tax Reform, read: "We oppose any carbon tax. A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost...

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Wind Subsidies for Xcel Energy’s Minnesota Operations Totaled More Than $49 Million in 2016

According to data found in utility documents filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy earned $49.3 million in federal subsidies in 2016 from its wind facilities located throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. It's important to remember that the cost of wind energy in Minnesota is not just reflected in your monthly electric bill, but it also increases the amount of federal taxes you must pay. While $49 million is no doubt a significant chuck of change, it likely represents only a small amount of the federal subsidies doled out to wind producers in Minnesota because most of the wind...

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Xcel Energy Property Taxes Soar 131.6 Percent Since Minnesota Began Mandating Renewable Energy – Ratepayers are Stuck with the Bill

We at American Experiment often write about how wind and solar energy cause nearly every aspect of the energy grid to be more expensive, but one aspect of this story we have not yet covered is the role wind and solar play on increasing property taxes. Property taxes constitute approximately 6 percent of your electric bill, as utility companies are allowed to pass these expenses directly on to their consumers. As property taxes rise, so does the amount you pay for electricity each month. As renewable energy sources increase on the grid, so do the property tax expenses that ratepayers are stuck...

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Revenge of the Diesel Class: Yellow Vest Protests Continue to Rage in France Over Climate Taxes

Thousands of Yellow Vest protesters in France continue to protest over the climate taxes imposed by French President Emmanuel Macron that will initially lead to a 30 cent increase in diesel prices, with the tax increasing over time. The New York Times described the protests as "shaking French politics to the core." The Yellow Vests are not young college students or far-right activists, they are the working class inhabitants of rural France that have been forgotten by the leaders in urban areas. NPR reports: "Among its ranks are retirees and the unemployed, farmers, housewives and people who have never protested before," NPR's Eleanor...

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Canadians Revolt Against Trudeau’s Carbon Taxes

In Canada, pressure against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's carbon tax is mounting, as Manitoba did a sudden about-face on its intention to impose a $25-per-tonne carbon price this fall. The Canadian federal government in Ottawa passed legislation last spring to give it authority to impose a carbon price on any province that did not implement its own tax beginning Jan. 1, 2019. It is starting at a minimum of $20 per tonne, rising $10 per year until 2022. Although, Trudeau says Canadians gave his government a mandate to implement a national carbon price in the last election, the blowback in provincial governments is...

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Massive Protests Erupt Across France as Government Ratchets Up Fuel Taxes

Thousands of French police fired tear gas and used water cannons against demonstrators who have been protesting French President Emmanuel Macron's new taxes on diesel fuel, the most popular fuel in France, and gasoline, since the weekend of November 17th. More than 280,000 protesters took to the streets to protest the deeply unpopular tax on its initial weekend. The tax has been a flashpoint because French motorists already pay the equivalent of nearly $7.06 per gallon of fuel, but under the new gas tax championed by the deeply unpopular French President, fuel prices would initially raise diesel prices by 30 cents per gallon, with...

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Don’t Forget, Trump’s Tax Cuts Brought Down Your Electricity Bill

Despite what its detractors say, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year has been an unqualified success. Unemployment is at its lowest rate since 1969, wages are rising in critical industries like manufacturing, and we now have a situation where employers are struggling to find employees, not unemployed people struggling to find jobs. Economic gains were part of the sales pitch for the tax cuts, but Minnesotans have also experienced a host of unexpected benefits from them, including refunds from electric utilities. Because the tax cuts reduced the corporate tax income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, Xcel...

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Taxpayers to Get Squeezed After Minneapolis School District Mismanages Their Budget, Again…

The Minneapolis School District can't seem to get their act together. The district overspent by $21.6 million last year, now the school district is seeking to raise property taxes by $18 million in a referendum on the ballot this fall. If you live in Minneapolis, you can see what these additional levies will cost you by clicking here. The Minneapolis School District has been badly mismanaged. According to a Star Tribune article from last year, auditors highlighted seven areas of financial missteps, including problems in budgeting, payroll and approval of district purchasing cards. "Some employees remained on payroll after they left the district...

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