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Answer to Cob tax offer expected

 By ANGELA TORRETTA

Klamath County Commissioners are hoping for a response Thursday from a Cob Energy Facility representative on deals they proposed earlier this month on a possible enterprise zone deal.

The proposal, which would waive taxes for the Cob facility in lieu of cash payments, has come before the board on a number of occasions.

During the meeting, commissioners also expect to hear from Bonanza's fire, cemetery, vector and park districts. The various taxing districts were invited to give public input.

The proposed natural gas-fired plant would be three miles southeast of Bonanza.

Comments from Bonanza officials may be the last step before the commissioners either approve or reject the enterprise zone, and Commissioner Al Switzer said Tuesday that he hoped the board would make a decision. After that the proposal would go to the Klamath Falls City Council, to the state and back to the county for approval.

That doesn't mean the commissioners will agree to terms of the zone, though.

The commissioners and Cob representative Paul Turner have bargained for the past month over a deal.

The original proposal, offered last year, was an annual payment of $1 million a year for 15 years in exchange for a waiver of property taxes.

Last month Turner proposed a new deal of a cash payment equal to half of the assessed property value.

The estimated amount would depend on the size of the plant. If a full-size, 1,160-megawatt facility were built, Turner estimates the taxes to be $3.2 million the first year, and to decrease to about $2.5 million at the end of 15 years.

If a half-size plant were built, the amount would be $1.9 million the first year and dwindle to $1.6 million by the end.

After the 15-year abatement period, the full tax amount would be paid.

Commissioners responded by each coming up with a counteroffer.

Switzer and John Elliott both preferred a set amount of money to be paid to the county, regardless of plant size. Elliott asked for $3 million, and Switzer asked for $2.8 million, which he broke out into a detailed spending plan.

Commissioner Bill Brown asked for Cob not to take any tax breaks.

The public meeting will be 10 a.m. Thursday in the commissioner's hearing room at the government center. Public comments will be accepted and should be limited to three minutes per person, said Switzer.

 

 

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Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific


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