County commissioners will discuss assessment appeal

The Moffat County commissioners will decide whether to fight the state Board of Assessment Appeals when they meet Tuesday.

At the meeting, the commissioners need to decide whether to protest the state's valuation of Salt River Pro-ject, a power company housed in Craig Station Power Plant.

After completing a desktop study of Salt River Project late last year, E3 Consultants concluded that the BAA is underassessing the company by $10 million. They determined the county, its school district and Craig Rural Fire Protection District could be losing almost $650,000 in revenue.

For about $50,000, the company will represent Moffat Coun--ty at the protest hearing.

At the hearing, E3 would argue against the process used to value the company. Assessor Suzanne Brinks said the fight likely will reach the state Supreme Court.

At last week's meeting, Com-m---issioner Tom Gray said he had reservations about proceeding with the protest.

"This is a little bit like David and Goliath. It could be Moffat County against the Board of Assessment Appeals," Gray said.

He wanted to consider the county's chances of winning and the possible costs the protest could incur. He was concerned that the protest could force the commissioners to spend half their contingency fund early in the year.

The commissioners agreed to delay the decision until Tuesday, but Commissioner Saed Tayyara voted against the delay.

He said the county needs to proceed with the protest, and he didn't think anything new would be learned by postponing the decision.

The commissioners will discuss the protest at 11 a.m.

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