Frenchtown Township – Southeastern Michigan officials say a nuclear plant’s move to slash its property taxes by 60 percent could be devastating to the community.
DTE Energy filed for a property tax reduction for its Fermi 2 nuclear plant with the Michigan Tax Tribunal last month, the Monroe News reported. The Detroit-based utility’s plant is located along Lake Erie in Monroe County’s Frenchtown Township.
The county could lose nearly $11.6 million in property taxes from the nuclear plant. That is in addition to an expected devaluation of the company’s Monroe Power Plant, which could result in a $12 million loss in property taxes.
Officials confirmed the Monroe coal plant filing was made at the same time as the Fermi request, but its details haven’t been made available.
Many community leaders were caught off guard by the decision, which will affect municipalities, schools, the Monroe County Library System and Lake Erie Transit, among others.
Frenchtown Township Supervisor James McDevitt said officials were working with the company and expected to continue to do so next year while settling the coal plant devaluation. He called the move a “letdown” that could cost the township a $1.5 million tax loss.
“We understood that there would be a gradual decline in the value of the power plant and we thought that was reasonable,” said Michael Bosanac, county administrator and chief financial officer. “This is not reasonable and it is not fair.”
Bosanac said the 60 percent cut to the nuclear plant’s taxes could have a more than $1 million impact on the county’s budget.
DTE Energy has said it’s seeking devaluation for the plants because of the market shift to clean energy, which is due in part to aging plants.
The company also filed for a property tax decrease at its Trenton Channel coal plant, as well as similar requests at its wind farms across Michigan.