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April 6, 2016

Oswego County, Scriba and Mexico School District Move Closer to Tax Agreement for FitzPatrick Plant

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Legislature voted April 5 to hold public hearings April 14 on a tax agreement that would end years of litigation over assessment of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba. The County Legislature scheduled public hearings for April 14 at 7 p.m. on a local law that allows the County to enter into a proposed five-year tax agreement with Entergy for the FitzPatrick plant.

The proposed agreement settles a tax certiorari lawsuit which Entergy brought against the Town of Scriba in 2011. The lawsuit challenged the tax assessment of the FitzPatrick plant for the years 2010 through 2015. The proposed agreement prevents another challenge to the current assessment.

"By entering into this agreement with Entergy, the town of Scriba, Oswego County and Mexico Central School District avoid tax refunds for the years at issue in the tax certiorari proceedings in which the company alleged it was over-assessed," said Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner, District 13, New Haven.

The Mexico Board of Education and the Scriba Town Board will also vote on resolutions authorizing the proposed agreement.

Under the proposed agreement,

- The Town of Scriba, Oswego County, and Mexico School District will NOT have to pay any refunds to Entergy for the years the company claimed they were over-assessed.

- If FitzPatrick closes and begins decommissioning on schedule in 2017, the tax jurisdictions will be paid $27.5 million in declining tax payments by the company over five years.

- If the FitzPatrick plant continues to operate and generate electricity, the tax jurisdictions will be paid $12 million per year for five years. This is $2.8 million per year more than the 10-year tax agreement that expired in 2010. As an inducement to remain open, this payment is less than what Entergy would pay if the plant remained on the tax roll as an operating plant.

- If the FitzPatrick plant is sold to another generator, the tax agreement is voided.

- The tax jurisdictions would share in the payments as follows: Mexico Central School District, 65.5 percent; Town of Scriba, 4 percent; and Oswego County, 30.5 percent.

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