CORTLANDT, NY-Entergy Corp., headquartered in Jackson, MS, which is in the process of acquiring Indian Point I and II, has reached a multi-million dollar tax agreement with the town and the Hendrick Hudson School District on its recently acquired Indian Point III facility. Officials involved in the deal say it will stabilize local tax revenues. The agreement culminates more than seven months of negotiations between the three.

Officials with Hendrick Hudson report that the tax deal with Entergy centers on its purchase of the Indian Point III plant from the New York State Power Authority. Since that facility was state-owned, it was off the municipal tax rolls. However, while the agreement calls for the property to remain so, Entergy would provide Cortlandt and the school district with Payments in Lieu of Taxes over the next 14 years. Officials contend that the PILOT agreement, which includes the creation of a tax reserve fund, was necessary to offset the expected loss in taxes from the sale of the Indian Point I and II nuclear plants from Con Edison to Entergy.

“The district has worked with the town to negotiate with Entergy a tax agreement that will allow our schools and programs to continue in a stable environment,” says Hendrick Hudson superintendent Joan Thompson. “This stability will help us ensure our financial future as we begin the process of negotiating the taxes on Indian Point I and II. We continue to work toward our goal of remaining financially whole at the conclusion of Entergy’s purchase of all three plants.”

Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi adds, “We have reached a significant agreement that is the key in helping to protect our taxpayers from any impacts of the sale of these power plants. It has been a cooperative effort to protect our taxpayers from the threat of reduced assessment and therefore a potential reduction in tax revenue for all entities involved.”

According to a school district spokesman, Con Edison currently pays approximately $24 million per year in school and property taxes on its Indian Point I and II nuclear power plants. The PILOT agreement requires the adoption of state legislation. The annual payments by Entergy to the town and school district would range from $9 million the first four years to approximately $7 million in later years, adjusted for inflation.

The PILOT agreement payments would begin in 2001 if state legislation is approved and would be deposited in a special reserve account and allowed to accumulate. In the event that no state legislation is passed, the accord calls for Entergy to pay an annual target tax obligation of at least $9 million for four years.

Entergy closed on the purchase of Indian Point 3 and the Oswego County-based James Fitzpatrick nuclear power plants with NYPA on Nov. 21. The sales price on that purchase was $967 million. Earlier in the month, Con Edison and Entergy reported the proposed sale of Indian Point I and II in a deal valued at $602 million. Indian Point II has not been in operation since a generator turbine leak in February 2000 although it is expected that the facility could be re-started before year’s end. Indian Point I has been shut down and in “safe storage” since the early 1970s.

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