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County to consider tax breaks for Cob


 January 17, 2005


A proposal to grant up to $71.3 million in tax breaks for a proposed power plant near Bonanza will be taken up Tuesday by the Klamath County Board of Commissioners.

The proposal calls for redrawing the boundaries of the Klamath Falls Enterprise Zone to take in the Cob Energy Facility site, making it eligible for a waiver of property taxes allowed within the zone.

In return for being exempt from paying taxes, the power plant would contribute $1 million a year to the county.

The prospect of tax breaks for the plant came before both the commissioners and the Klamath Falls City Council on a number of occasions last year, but a decision was delayed when city officials asked for more information. The city hasn't reached a decision yet.

The power plant's developers also asked for a delay while it completed the siting application process with the state of Oregon.

Peoples Energy, the Chicago-based company hoping to build the plant, received a siting permit in November, but irrigation-rights groups have said they will appeal the state's decision to the Oregon Supreme Court. While the fate of the plant remains uncertain, Peoples Energy and economic development officials have said a 15-year tax-free deal would sweeten the pot.

Both the county and the city would have to approve any changes to the enterprise zone.

The proposed 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.

The proposed natural gas-fired plant would generate about 1,150-megawatts of electricity, and would be located about three miles southeast of Bonanza and 21 miles east of downtown Klamath Falls.

County commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The meeting will be televised live on cable channel 3 in Klamath Falls, and will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Wednesday.






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