Wednesday, January 25

PPL Disengenious in Tax Protest

The long running tax dispute over PPLs electricity generating dams took a sharp zag yesterday. The school board was forced to use some of the money that PPL has paid under protest.

This ridiculous situation has gone on long enough. Year after year, our municipal budgets are strained and reduced because PPL will not pay their taxes. Great Falls kids have to deal with cuts in school programs. Our police and sheriff departments have to work with less resources. City and county operations are similarly affected.

If PPL were a victim of overzealous property valuations here, I would be the first to come to their defense. However, I think it wise to remember what happened throughout Montana the year before their tax protest.

Go back to 1999. There was a state initiative on the ballot that would have started the process for the State to buy back the dams from PPL.

PPL fought that initiative tooth and nail. One of the arguments with which they flooded the media was that State valuations (wait for it) undervalued the dams.

They won that battle.

Fast forward one year. Suddenly, PPL starts protesting all of their property taxes. Apparently, these same valuations were now so overvalued that PPL was paying too much in property taxes.

PPLs protests should all be thrown out. Immediately. With prejudice. They should just pay their dam taxes!


GeeGuy said...

It's just economic leverage. If you're mad now, just wait until government knuckles under on the protests because it is so desperate for funds.

Treasure State Jew said...

Unfortunately, the handwriting is on the wall that you are right.

This situation is obscene. The courts should fast-track any decision on these protests. Otherwise, our county and city will end up succumbing to the blackmail.