County continues appeal of Salt River value
Moffat County will continue its protest of the assessed value of an operator at the Craig Station power plant.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to appeal the state’s valuation of the Salt River Project, which owns 29 percent of units 1 and 2 at Craig Station. Commissioners think the state has undervalued the project.
The state assesses valuations on public utilities such as power plants.
Commissioners voted to protest the valuation last month. When the county protested, the state changed the valuation, but commissioners said Tuesday that the state’s change did not address their concerns.
County Attorney Kathleen Taylor and assessor Suzanne Brinks attended a State Board of Assessment Appeals hearing last week in Denver, where they discussed the Salt River protest.
The state changed the assessment of Salt River from $15.7 million to $15.76 million, a difference that results in $1,154 in additional tax revenue for the county.
But Turner said Tuesday that the change didn’t address some of the county’s primary concerns.
“We hoped to settle it,” Taylor said. “But at this point, we still have so many unanswered questions.”
One of the county’s chief concerns is that some construction projects at Craig Station were listed as in progress for Salt River and complete for other operators.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Commissioner Tom Gray said.
Construction projects are not taxed until after construction is complete, Taylor said.
Taylor said she wants to resolve the protest as quickly as possible.
“We’re hopeful we can resolve this without going to litigation,” Taylor said.
Moffat County protested the state’s assessment of Salt River last year, as well.
Last year’s protest took more than a year to settle. In the end, the state changed its assessment of the Phoenix-based power provider from $13.2 million to $14.3 million. The new assessment generated about $66,000 in additional tax revenue for the county.
Taylor said she doesn’t expect this year’s protest to take as long as last year’s, but scheduling hearings, which commonly last eight hours, can be difficult.
The deadline for the county’s appeal is Sept. 1.
Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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