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Bow Will Repay $10M In Settlement With Eversource Over Coal Plant Tax Valuation

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The town of Bow has reached a settlement with Eversource to repay millions in excess taxes on a local power plant.

Merrimack Station in Bow is the largest coal-burning power plant left in New England. Until recently, it was owned by Eversource and made up the bulk of Bow's tax base.

The utility says Bow charged them too much in property tax for the plant in 2012 and 2013. Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed.

Now, Bow says it will reimburse Eversource $10 million to settle the dispute. The town says just under half that will come from reserves this year.

The rest of the money will be repaid as reductions in Eversource’s tax bills for its remaining property in Bow, over a period of four years.

It means the town will forego about $1.5 million a year between 2020 and 2023 – equivalent to about an 11 percent hit on Bow’s total property tax revenue for 2018.

The town says in a statement it’s actively courting new business to make up for the lost taxes and valuation at Merrimack Station.

Still, the town says “it must be recognized that there will be years of austerity as we transition away from relying on one large commercial taxpayer for the majority of our tax base.”

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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