WAMC News, North Country News
12:11 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Nuclear Plant Tax Moves From Committee to Vermont Senate

The Vermont Senate Finance Committee has approved a miscellaneous tax bill which includes a new seven-point-five million dollar tax on the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

The Senate bill would increase the generation tax Vermont Yankee pays.  The state estimates revenues of twelve-and-a-half million dollars if the tax is approved.  Vermont Yankee currently pays about 5 million dollars annually in generation taxes.  Under an agreement which expired on March 21st,  the plant also paid about 6 million dollars a year to Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund. Vermont Citizens Action Network Lobbyist Bob Stannard supports the proposed tax.

Critics say the tax is unfair and punitive. Vermont Energy Partnership Spokesman Guy Page believes it exposes the state to the risk of more legal challenges.

Citizens Action’s Bob Stannard counters that the tax is neither punitive nor retaliatory.

The Vermont Energy Partnership’s Guy Page says their members are also concerned about the precedent the Senate action could set.

Bob Stannard calls the idea that the Legislature is setting a precedent with the proposed tax a ridiculous concern.

Vermont Law School Professor of Energy and Regulatory Law Don Kreis says the tax would be a very small sum in relation to Vermont Yankee’s overall operating costs.

Entergy Spokesman Mike Burns told WAMC the only comment the company has is that they are opposed to the bill.