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Cob backers make new tax offer
A company seeking exemption from property taxes
for a proposed power plant near Bonanza offered
Tuesday to triple the amount of money it would pay
in lieu of taxes - for the first year at least.
The figure represents half the estimated tax
liability for the plant, and is more than three
times the company's previous offer of $1 million.
The company is seeking a change in the Klamath
Falls Enterprise Zone boundary to include the
power plant site, making it eligible for property
The new deal Turner offered would have the company
paying 50 percent of the annual taxes.
In addition, Peoples Energy would give $300,000 a
year to Klamath County Economic Development to put
in a revolving loan fund for new local businesses.
But he would like to see the plant give 100
percent of the taxes the county would waive should
the enterprise zone be implemented.
Commissioner Bill Brown asked Turner if Peoples
Energy is open to negotiation, or if the latest
offer is an "all-or-nothing proposal."
Members of the board of commissioners noted that
one advantage of a payment in lieu of taxes would
be the board's freedom to use the money according
to its own discretion.
Furthermore, Cob representatives have pointed out
that about 40 percent of property taxes would go
to schools, and state school support would be
reduced by the same amount to offset the extra
"There's been quite a bit of misunderstanding, to
nobody's fault but our company," he said.
Turner said he wasn't requesting a decision
immediately, and commissioners agreed to discuss
the plant again in two weeks in a public hearing
First, even if the county approves changes to the
enterprise zone, the city also has to agree. City
councilors postponed a decision in September,
pending the decision of a state siting panel.
Third, there are details of the siting process
that have to be completed still, such as a seismic
survey of the property to measure the risk of
earthquake damage to the proposed plant.
The enterprise zone boundary change would take in
a narrow corridor of land along Highways 140 and
70 through Olene, Dairy and Bonanza, and southeast
of Bonanza to the site.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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