Pike County is rich in natural resources and has thrived from the coal industry. The coal industry is facing a downturn and Pike County’s largest employer has announced its exit from the coal industry in 2025. Pike County leadership is determined to continue economic growth and diversify the local economy and assessed value.
On May 10, 2022, at the Pike County Council Meeting, the Council voted to approve the Confirmation of the Economic Revitalization Area for Invenergy’s Crosstrack Solar Project, located in Jefferson Township. The Crosstrack Project is a 130-megawatt project with a capital investment of $110 million. There will also be 100+ construction jobs, but those will only be realized during project construction. This project will bring in over $1 million in tax revenue each year. This revenue is greatly needed and will offset the loss in assessed value from the decreased value in coal production facilities.
Pike County has traditionally enjoyed a very low unemployment rate, the majority supported by the coal industry. In rural communities with low unemployment, one of the best economic development strategies is to seek high assessed value projects that have modest workforce requirements. This project is not about jobs; it is about increasing the assessed value of the county. Because of property tax levy limitations imposed by the State of Indiana, increases in assessed value do not result in “new” property tax revenues for taxing units. Growing the assessed value of a taxing district allows the applicable taxing units to levy their property taxes over a larger assessed value tax base, reducing the property tax burden of all taxpayers. The Crosstrack Solar will be a great asset to the community to increase the assessed value in Pike County.