New report says tax system favors nuclear power

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(Host) A new report says Vermont’s system for taxing power plants favors nuclear power over renewable energy generators.

The Vermont Public Interest Research Group decided to look at the tax issue after a bill that called for a similar study was vetoed during the last legislative session.

VPIRG’s James Moore discussed the findings at a news conference this morning.

(Moore) "The average of all the hydro facilities in Vermont pay a tax rate that is nearly five times what Vermont Yankee is paying in a tax rate. And the one commercial wind facility – the Searsburg facility owned by Green Mountain Power… pays a tax rate that is 10 times what Vermont Yankee is paying on a generation basis."

(Host) To come up with the comparison, VPIRG divided the statewide education property tax paid by the generators by the amount of kilowatt hours they produced.

Moore says the state should use its tax policy to encourage more renewable generation.

(Moore) "What we’re seeing is that our tax policy may actually be a roadblock to moving forward and getting renewable energy built here in Vermont."

(Host) In the last legislative session, Governor Jim Douglas vetoed a bill that would have increased taxes on Vermont Yankee and stabilized taxes for wind projects. The legislation also called for a study of the taxes paid by power plants.

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