Wind energy projects help lower taxes for Oldham County

Thanks to wind investment projects in Oldham County, property taxes for residents are on the decline.

"We've been able to lower our tax rate to our taxpayers in the county about 15 to 20 cents at the present time," said Oldham County Judge Don Allred. "We expect to drop that tax rate probably another 8 to 10 cents this year."

Companies investing in wind energy are offering incentives to rural areas like Oldham County to install wind turbines for alternative energy.

"With the drought that we've been in, all farmers and ranchers are looking for ways to supplement their income and to diversify trying to get as much out of their property," said Allred. "They don't lose the amount of head capacity on their grazing land, they don't lose any of that capacity. They can still farm their land, they can still run their cattle."

The changes aren't only affecting taxpayers and farmers. Short-term growth during construction has also helped local businesses.

"Motels, hotels, all of our businesses, our restaurants, our gas stations, our hardware stores have all received a tremendous increase in customers during that construction time," said Allred.

While Oldham County officials said long-term growth isn't likely, they hope to attract visitors looking to make the area their new home.

"We realize that we need to take advantage of the impact they have right now and hopefully once these people see what great communities they are, maybe they're come and get other projects going," said Oldham County Chamber of Commerce Director Deborah Sue McDonald.