Power utility asks to roll back its property tax assessment

EnergyAssociated Press

Appalachian Power Co. is asking to roll back its property tax assessment in West Virginia for the 2018 tax year, citing a combination of a mild winter followed by a mild summer that has hurt business.

"The utility business tends to be a weather business," Thomas Johnson, property taxes manager for Appalachian Power's parent company, told the state Board of Public Works on Thursday.

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The company's net income is down 18 percent from 2016 so far this year because customers didn't crank up the heat or air conditioning as much as normal in the past year, Johnson said.

In making its tentative assessment, the state Tax Department assumed a 4 percent growth in income for the company, to about $575 million, while Johnson said a fairer projection would be in the $550 million range, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported . That would reduce Appalachian Power's tentative assessed value and lower its property tax due to the state to under $300,000.

Jeff Amburgey, director of the state Property Tax Division, told board members he'll review the request to appeal its assessment. Amburgey said he'll provide a written recommendation prior to the board's Dec. 14 meeting, where it is to give final approval to the 2018 assessments.

The Board of Public Works is made up of six statewide elected officials and the state superintendent of schools. The board must annually approve property assessments for all state utilities.

Appalachian Power was the only utility in the state to appeal its tentative property assessment.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.