13 December 2018

[MB McCart] - The City of Oxford, GA Now Taxing the Sun

Not to be outdone by their southern neighbors, Covington, GA, a city that taxes the rain - the city of Oxford is now taxing the sun (although apparently Covington does this as well). More specifically, Oxford charges a monthly stand-by capacity charge of $11.15 per kilowatt for those who install solar panels at their property. Basically what this charge is saying, in essence, is that whatever amount of energy is saved by a property owner that installs solar panels, the city wants a piece of the action.

Friend-of-the-Blog & construction expert Jimmy Strange summed it up the best: 

In the latest news that was completely overlooked or maybe just slipped by un-noticed is the City of Oxford's recent vote to penalize citizens who install solar power system in their dwellings.

It seems as everyone is promoting "Green Energy", "sustainable" "renewable" "resources" in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and reducing CO2 omissions. People are building homes everyday completely off the grid totally independent from utility companies with zero or close to zero impact on the environment.

Two new major players in our local economy are solar powered buildings. Shire is being powered from Silicone Ranch in Social Circle and Grattis and Facebook from solar farms being built by Walton EMC in SW Georgia. These farms can be constructed in weeks verses years for nuclear and are 100% safer.

HOWEVER the City of Oxford has an agenda that would prohibit a homeowner from taking steps to reduce their utility bills.
The City Council voted last month to impose a TAX on any citizen that installs solar panels. The tax would be based upon $11.15 for each kilowatt installed. Since most customers install 3-5 KW the fees would be ranging from $33.45 - $55.75 per month.

THIS IS A MONTHLY FEE !!!!!!! for generating one's own power.
The City of Oxford is taxing the citizens for using the sun to reduce everyday living expenses?

Sometimes one just has to say WTF!!!!

WTF, indeed, Mr. Strange.

At its most recent council meeting, three council members tried to get rid of the "Sun Tax" but the Mayor of Oxford, Jerry Roseberry, broke a tie to ensure that people will still have to be extorted by the government  for energy they, themselves, produce from the sun. The Mayor spoke about financial concerns. But as Councilman David Eady so succinctly put it (CovNews $)

“The city itself, from a revenue standpoint, would be minimally affected by people installing solar panels,” he said, “ We have about 600 or so customers and the probability of 10 percent of those customers installing solar is very low.

“But if 10 percent of our customers install solar panels, 60 customers, we’re still only talking about less than $18,000 impact on our revenue. And one hundred installs is around $25,000 in lost revenue. We’ve got a very large margin on our electric utility right now to absorb some revenue erosion form people installing an energy conservation technology like solar panels. 

“And again, I believe it’s a discriminatory tax and it holds no place in our electric rates.”

Very well said, Mr. Eady. Agreed!

This really speaks to a fundamental question: what is the proper role of government? And is the current level of government we are now seeing at all levels proper, or sustainable?

Changes are coming, folks. With the almost-guaranteed next near-future down-turn, the growing financial & debt crisis, and the next big bust - pensions, especially government ones - I truly believe we are going to have to do some radically & drastically different things just to be able to maintain a somewhat similar way of life. And taxing the sun & building Taj Mahal City Halls ain't the way to go about that. 

Just the ole .02, you understand.

We'll keep an eye on it.