Duke Energy reaches agreement on tax dispute

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Duke Energy Ohio and the Ohio Department of Taxation have reached an agreement that will minimize the short-term community impact of a tax dispute.

At issue is the method of assessing Duke Energy Ohio's tangible personal property tax value for tax year 2009.

Last month, the company began notifying local leaders it planned to pay upcoming tax bills based on its own analysis, as permitted by Ohio law, while it appeals the state's initial assessment of the company's personal property value.

In recent days, officials at the Ohio Department of Taxation and Duke Energy have discussed the impact this decision would have on schools and local governments. The state and the company also have reiterated their mutual interest in trying to expeditiously move this dispute through the appeal process.

As a compromise, Duke Energy has agreed to cut by half the amount it previously planned to withhold.   Under this agreement, Duke Energy will voluntarily pay 90 percent of the full-year 2009 tax assessment, inclusive of the initial payments made by Duke Energy, while the appeals process continues.   In consideration of this payment from Duke Energy, the Ohio Department of Taxation has agreed to briefly extend the date for an administrative hearing on the company's petition for a reassessment.

"Duke Energy and the Ohio Department of Taxation clearly have differing opinions on the value of our personal property, and that's an issue that the appeal process will resolve," said Julie S. Janson, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Duke Energy Kentucky.  "This compromise gives everyone some breathing room as we work through the appeal process."

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