Business Leaders Unite to Propose Alternative to New Tax on Vermont Yankee

first_img Wealready know that nuclear energy is clean, reliable, and inexpensive; itrepresents one-third of our electricity supply The most aggressive renewableenergy portfolio cannot approach replacing this base-load power. Nuclear energyis one of the reasons we are the lowest carbon-emitting state in the union. Itis the backbone of our portfolio. To levy a new tax on that one corporation,Entergy, in effect showing them the door, is the wrong message for Vermont to be sending if we care aboutGlobal Warming. Diverse Vermont Business Leaders Unite to Timothy McQuiston 2 2 2007-04-30T17:24:00Z 2007-05-01T17:44:00Z 2007-05-01T17:44:00Z 1 886 5054 William Shouldice & Associates 42 11 5929 10.2625 Print Clean Clean MicrosoftInternetExplorer4st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} The groupis proposing an alternative to the 35% tax on certain Vermont Yankee grossrevenues that is in the current version of a bill due for action this week inthe Vermont Senate because they believe the new tax on Vermont Yankee will havea negative impact on Vermonts economy and businessreputation. The group believes the proposed new tax could affect companyrelocation and investment decisions, electricity costs and reliability and thatthe new tax eventually could lead to an increase in the amount of greenhousegas emissions in Vermont. Wecommend the legislatures focus on reducing CO2 emissions from non-electricsources in Vermont. The new entity to be chargedwith this task will not be up and running until January 1, 2009,under pending legislation. Our proposal would provide $5 million by that datefrom existing revenue sources without raising taxes, said Lisa Ventriss, President of the Vermont Business Roundtable. We haveworked very hard over the years to try and make Vermont a place where we can remain inbusiness and support our communities. By risking future energy costs andcreating an unpredictable tax environment for businesses, this proposed tax onVermont Yankee threatens to seriously undermine this work. Brian Keefe, Vice President ofGovernment Affairs, Central Vermont Public Service Membersof the business group had the following specific comments about the proposednew tax on Vermont Yankee: “Likemany companies employing thousands of Vermonters, our facilities here in Vermont must compete every day not onlywith other manufacturers, but with other Ethan Allen facilities in the US and abroad. Creating anunpredictable tax environment and risking higher energy costs in the yearsahead does nothing to help keep or create high paying jobs in Vermont.””Ethan Allen understands efficiency and has made great strides to improveour facilities here. But the bottom line is that Vermont has a very high-cost businessenvironment. Any new tax-based approach to funding efficiency will only head usfurther in the wrong direction.” John OKane,Manager of Community Relations and Government Affairs, IBM Microelectronics CVPStakes very seriously our responsibility to provide our customers with reliableelectric power at the lowest possible prices. Vermont Yankee is currently avery important source of reliable, affordable power for Vermont. Any action by the legislaturethat creates uncertainty about future power costs is quite destabilizing. Kellie Morton, Manager of HumanResources, General Electric Corp. Thegroups proposal would use unspent and uncommitted funds from FY 07 and FY 08revenues that go to Vermonts existing Clean EnergyDevelopment Fund. These funds are generated by existing payments to the Stateby Vermont Yankee. It also would tap funds to be received by Vermonts existing efficiency utilityfrom so-called forward capacity payments, which reflect electric energy beingsaved by Efficiency Vermont.center_img IBM musthave reliable, affordable base-load power to operate successfully in Vermont. The tax being proposed has notbeen thought through and is likely to threaten the availability of base-loadresources not only from Vermont Yankee but from other potential suppliers whowill view Vermont as an unreliable partner andcustomer. Since2002, Vermont ratepayers have saved more than $160 million becauseEntergy agreed to fixed, long-term contracts when it bought Vermont Yankee. VermontYankee also enables Vermont to get one third of its powerwith practically zero greenhouse gas emissions and is a major reason why Vermont has the lowest per capita CO2emissions rate of any state in America. Christopher Dutton, ChiefExecutive Officer, Green Mountain Power Cite Dangers toVermonts Business Environment and Reputation of Sudden Change in Tax PolicyRegarding One Vermont Company Montpelier,VT/April 30, 2007 A diverse group of leading Vermont business executivestoday proposed an alternative to a new tax on Vermont Yankee as a way to fundVermonts proposed new all fuels efficiency utility. The proposal would provide$5 million in start up funds for the non-electric energy efficiency fundproposed to be created by legislation pending in the Vermont Senate. Asuddenly imposed new tax on one business, especially if it does as much asVermont Yankee does for Vermont, is a threat to all Vermont businesses and the tens ofthousands of Vermonters they employ. Daniel Kurzman,General Manager, Northeast Region, Ethan Allen Operations Nothingis free. If a business has a tax imposed on it, it will collect the costsassociated with that tax, one way or another, sooner or later. My concern isthat a tax on a major power supplier to Vermont will make more difficult thenegotiations that the utilities in Vermont have underway with the powersuppliers that now provide us with relatively carbon-free electricity underlong-term contracts. Its not just Entergy that will be troubled by such a tax.All power suppliers, including Hydro-Quebec, will wonder if and when such a taxis coming their way. Eventually, this kind of tax will have the effect ofdiminishing the economic value of what we are able to secure in thosenegotiations for our customers. Lisa Ventriss,President, Vermont Business Roundtable Diverse Vermont Business LeadersUnite toPropose Alternativeto New Tax on Vermont Yankeelast_img

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