A business group complains that a proposed tax increase on the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sends the wrong message to companies doing business in Vermont.
William Driscoll is vice president of Associated Industries of Vermont. He says a bill passed by the House would boost taxes on Vermont’s only nuclear plant from $5 million to about $11 million each year.
"It is damaging to the state’s reputation to take an approach where you are effectively going a significant increase in revenue from one company," Driscoll said. "It’s just poor policy; it does not help the reputation of Vermont as a place in which to do business."
But Yankee opponents say the tax is justified. Bob Stannard is a lobbyist with Citizens Action Network. He says Entergy Vermont Yankee is no longer selling power to Vermont utilities, yet it gets a benefit from the state by using the Connecticut River to cool the plant.
"They’ve reneged on every promise that they’ve made to us. They’ve lied to us under oath," Stannard said. "And now they’re suing us. So I think it’s only fair and reasonable that Vermont should stop giving this corporation a break."
The tax increase passed by the House will raise money for the Clean Energy Fund and boost the state education fund.