Duke Energy Ohio, which is appealing the 2009 property taxes it owes to the state, said last week it had reached an agreement with Ohio to minimize the short-term impact of the dispute on local governments. The company’s decision to withhold part of its 2009 payments has meant fiscal uncertainty for many municipalities that collect the money.
Duke officials said they negotiated a short-term agreement with the state Department of Taxation to reduce the impact of the dispute on local governments and school districts.
The agreement allows Duke to pay its upcoming tax bills based on its own assessment while it pursues its appeal of the state’s assessment. The company agreed to cut in half the amount it had planned to withhold and pay 90% of the full 2009 tax assessments. The Taxation Department also agreed to extend the date for an administrative hearing on Duke’s petition for a reassessment.
If Duke wins its appeal, the local governments would need to repay the money with interest, the company said.
“Duke Energy and the Ohio Department of Taxation clearly have differing opinions on the value of our personal property, and that’s an issue that the appeal process will resolve,” Julie Janson, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Duke Energy, said in a statement. “This compromise gives everyone some breathing room as we work through the appeal process.”
Duke Energy Ohio is operated by Duke Energy, a Charlotte, N.C.-based electric company that serves 4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest.