March 29, 2000 - Columbus, Ohio - A Case For Settlement
Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino today announced the settlement of another multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by an electric utility company challenging personal property taxes paid on the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.
Duquesne Light Company (Pittsburgh, PA.) was seeking refunds for local taxes paid on business equipment and property back to 1988. Potential refunds, according to Department estimates, could have exceeded $125 million. School districts and local governments in northeast Ohio – primarily in Lake and Jefferson Counties -- would have been responsible for paying the money back.
Zaino says the company agreed to drop all pending refund claims, including those in the lawsuit, and will receive $6.4 million in credits against current and future taxes, "This agreement benefits all the parties involved. The company can close its books on what’s been an ongoing expense. The schools and local governments avoid what could have been a big hit financially. Their support was key to getting this settled."
Governor Bob Taft encouraged and supports the settlement, Zaino said, as a reasonable compromise that eliminates a big risk for schools.
Late last year, the Department of Taxation settled numerous lawsuits with electric and telephone utilities seeking $3.9 billion worth of refunds. Duquesne Light was the first of the companies to challenge rulings on various tax exemptions and the taxable value of property. The Duquesne case was argued before the Ohio Supreme Court last December.
Duquesne Light Company was a part owner (13.74%) and partner in construction of the Perry plant. Duquesne has since transferred its interest to FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron.
For more information contact:
Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director
Ohio Department of Taxation