County accepts new assessment of Salt River
A decision Thursday could signal the end of a yearlong tax dispute between Moffat County and a company at the Craig Station power plant.
The Moffat County commissioners decided Thursday to accept the state’s new property tax valuation of the Salt River Project for 2004.
Salt River owns 29 percent of units 1 and 2 at Craig Station.
The county protested the state’s 2004 valuation, which was $13.2 million.
The state’s new assessment is $14.3 million, which will generate about $66,000 in additional tax revenue.
About $35,000 of the new revenue will go to the school district, and $23,000 will go to the county. The county’s revenue is contingent on the 5.5 percent property tax increase exemption passing this fall.
County Assessor Suzanne Brinks said the state’s Board of Assessment Appeals agreed with the county that Salt River was worth more than the state originally said.
Brinks protested the state’s assessment because Salt River’s valuation had gone down in recent years much more than the other companies at Craig Station.
From 1999 to 2004, Salt River’s valuation fell from $23 million to $13 million, a 40 percent drop. Meanwhile Xcel Energy remained relatively unchanged, and Tri-State’s valuation changed by about 15 percent. PacifiCorp’s valuation fell by 22 percent.
The commissioners commended Brinks on Thursday for investigating the Salt River valuation.
“We have the opportunity to put 66,000 additional dollars in the coffers of Moffat County en-tities,” Commis-sioner Darryl Steele said.
Salt River, which is based in Phoenix, can protest the new valuation, but a spokesman said Thursday the company probably wouldn’t.
Salt River spokesman Scott Harelson said the company thinks the state’s new valuation is fair.
The county still is protesting the state’s 2005 valuation of Salt River, but the commissioners don’t expect the 2005 protest to take as long as 2004.
“We’ve been much more proactive so it’s going to be quicker,” Commissioner Tom Gray said.
The county had to ask the state for an extension on the 2004 protest, which made it take longer.
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