A solar farm developer goes before county commissioners Monday to turn in a tax relief application for a Pierce Ranch area development. No action is anticipated.
AP Solar Holdings, LLC is one of four renewable energy companies looking to develop solar farms within the county. The other three are Hecate Energy, LLC, and SunChase Power, LLC, both proposed for Louise, and ConnectGEN on land outside of East Bernard.
The court has taken applications for Chapter 312 tax abatements from both Hecate and AP Solar with no agreements made.
“A.P. Solar will ask the court to administratively accept their abatement application,” County Judge Phillip Spenrath said, adding, “With the continued uncertainty in the oil and gas industry, local homeowners continue to come before commissioners court asking for someone to ease their tax burden. Aside from actually cutting existing services, the only plausible answer for relief is to find someone else to assume the tax burden. It is important to the taxpayers of Wharton County that every elected official at least listens and reasonably considers viable opportunities to lower homeowner taxes.”
Wharton ISD granted the project a Chapter 313 abatement limiting taxes in exchange for construction and job creation.
Hecate sought a 70 percent abatement for 10 years on a $500 million project in April. The application failed for lack of a motion in May.
Earlier, however, commissioners approved 50 percent for the Cascade Solar, LLC project outside of Lane City.
Also on the agenda for the 9:30 a.m. Monday session in the Courthouse Annex, 309 E. Milam in Wharton, is the possible sale of four pieces of county-owned land, most at the site of the former Precinct 4 barn off of U.S. 59.
“The commissioners tell me that we have no current use for these properties. Thus, I believe we should sell the land and get it back on the tax rolls,” Spenrath said.
The court will consider the purchase of radar units for the sheriff’s department and funding for the restoration of the county museum.