Alcoa, hydro plant may get tax breaks

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – A state committee has recommended that tax exemptions be approved for Louisiana Hydroelectric and Alcoa’s Vidalia Works, a state commerce official said Tuesday.

Louisiana Hydroelectric, which operates the Sidney A. Murray Jr. Hydroelectric Station in south Concor-dia Parish, is asking for an exemption on $1,152,609 worth of equipment added to the plant last year.

That 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.

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Alcoa is seeking an exemption on $740,183 worth of additions to the plant, said Becky Lambert, assistant to the manager of the Office of Commerce and Industry’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

Figures on how much Alcoa would save in taxes and details of what additions were made to its plant were not available from plant and tax officials as of Tuesday afternoon.

The exemptions have been recommended for approval by the state Office of Commerce and Industry’s Screening Committee.

Both exemptions will be considered for final approval at the Aug. 22 meeting of the Board of Commerce and Industry.

The Concordia Police Jury voted in April to recommend that the state not grant the Louisiana Hydroelectric exemption.

Some jurors noted that the partnership had already been granted a 10-year tax exemption on the hydroelectric station itself.

But Lambert said the board can only reject a request if the company requesting the exemption is not a manufacturer or is not conducting business in the best interest of the area.

&uot;We totally expected this – we’re no different than any other industry,&uot; said Ralph Laukhoff, manager of corporate relations for Louisiana Hydroelectric.

Officials of Vidalia’s Alcoa plant could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.