State will vote on hydro tax exemptions June 27

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – The Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry will decide June 27 whether to grant Louisiana Hydroelectric a tax exemption on equipment added last year to its power plant.

The Louisiana Hydroelectric Partnership, which operates the Sidney A. Murray Jr. Hydroelectric Station in south Concordia Parish, asked for an exemption on $1,152,609 worth of equipment added to the plant last year.

The Concordia Parish Police Jury voted earlier this month to recommend that the state not grant the exemption.

But a staff member in the Office of Commerce and Industry said Tuesday that under the state law, the board can only reject a tax exemption request under specific circumstances.

&uot;The board does take the concerns of local officials into account,&uot; said Becky Lambert, assistant to the manager of the office’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

&uot;But unless the company is not a manufacturer or is not conducting business in the best interest of the area,&uot; the exemption could not be refused, Lambert said.

An Office of Commerce and Industry screening committee will review the exemption application during its May 23 meeting, Lambert said.

The exemption would mean a tax savings of $18,800 a year for 10 years for the partnership. If it is approved, the exemption would not apply until 2002.

In voting to recommend refusal of the exemption, some police jurors noted that the partnership had already been granted a 10-year tax exemption on the hydroelectric station itself.

As a result,it was not placed on the parish’s tax rolls until this year, although the station went online in 1990.