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Drop in energy costs may affect taxpayers

Ontario, N.Y. - Since 2004 through a P.I.L.O.T. (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreement Constellation Energy, owner of Ginna Nuclear Plant, has kept rates steady for customers and has been paying millions in tax dollars to Wayne County, the Town of Ontario and the Wayne Central School District.

But the cost of energy is dropping, and this could be costly for Ontario and Wayne Central taxpayers.

According to the Wayne County Times - the excess of natural gas through hydrofracking is causing energy prices to go down - lower energy costs means less revenue for Constellation and a likely drop in assessed property value.

The assessment's going to fall and those tax dollars are going to have to be made up somewhere and it's going to be on the back of taxpayers, said Ron Holdraker of the Wayne County Times.

This comes as re-negotiations for the P.I.L.O.T agreement kick off.

As we're just beginning the process to re-negotiate the pilot agreement, we're just in the process of selecting council, said Chair of the Board of Supervisors James Hoffman, so I think I would refrain from making any comments about that process about the agreement or anything that would affect the agreement.

Constellation pays $8.6-million in property taxes to the Wayne Central School District, the Town of Ontario and Wayne County as part of the 2004 P.I.L.O.T. agreement that expires June 2014.

Constellation gave 13WHAM this statement:

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group is committed to paying our fair share of property taxes. While we work with local officials to establish an updated tax agreement for Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, we will continue to support the community through existing tax agreements, local service contracts, corporate sponsorships and charitable donations. Each year, Ginna and its employees donate more than $200,000, to local and regional charities.

Kelsie Smith, 13WHAM-TV
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