While some Minnesota House members touted the taxes Endridge pays as a reason to skip Public Utility Commission (PUC) review of the Line 3, a recent court decision may claw back that money from counties and townships.
At the Bemidji Pioneer, Matthew Liedke reports in Tax ruling on Enbridge has counties concerned:
Area counties are concerned a recent decision by a Minnesota Tax Court regarding Enbridge Energy's oil pipeline system could leave them paying out potentially large refunds to the company.
On Tuesday, tax court Judge Joanne Turner ruled the Minnesota Department of Revenue had overvalued Enbridge's pipeline system that runs through 13 Minnesota counties by $3.2 billion from 2012-2014.
While pipelines are assessed by the state, tax proceeds go to the counties. As a result, there's a potential the counties may have to refund large sums of money to Enbridge. ...
Stevenson said, with the appeals process, the matter could take another year or two to be settled. However, when it the final ruling is made, Stevenson added that townships might be hit more hard than counties.
"Something that's not being talked about as much is the impact on townships," Stevenson said. "We have a couple townships in Cass that could be put under by this, because half of their valuation is just on pipelines. The townships just have the numbers stacked against them, they're not financially set up to handle something like this."
On Monday, Session Daily's Melissa Turtinen reported in House votes to authorize construction of controversial pipeline:
The House passed a proposal Monday that would give the green light to Enbridge to build a controversial pipeline across northern Minnesota, a month before the Public Utilities Commission makes its decision on the project.
Fabian said the pipeline would be a “tremendous asset” to the state, adding his bill has “very, very strong support in my part of the state” and across northern Minnesota.
One of the things supporters of the bill also touted were those tax payments. Here's the entire debate:
At the 22:37 mark, Mike Sundin, DFL-Esko, brings up the then-pending court case and tells the bill's author that Enbridge isn't a benevolent entity devoted to making Minnesota counties flush. Looks like the guy was on to something--and then there's potentially a bill for townships as well.
Photo: A stock image from Enbridge.
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