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Legislative Memo

BILL:

A.8910/S.6810 – Park K (Budget Bill)

Support

SUBJECT:

$11.7 million fee on nuclear power plants

 

DATE:

February 26, 2008

 

The Business Council opposes the Executive Budget proposal to impose a $11.7 million fee upon the state's nuclear facilities to help fund the New York National Guard.

The nuclear energy industry is one of the few industries whose security program is regulated by the federal government. Nuclear plants must meet stringent federal security requirements, as determined and monitored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). On-site NRC inspectors at each facility ensure compliance.

This proposed assessment ignores the fact that the state's nuclear facilities already contribute significantly to the state budget through existing taxes and fees. This assessment is in addition to the very sizable real property taxes and PILOT payments that are levied on these facilities for the general support of local government activities. In fact, Entergy* (*One of two operators of nuclear generating facilities in New York State.) alone has paid over $234 million to state, county and local governments in New York since 2001.

Since 1986, New York's nuclear facilities have been forced to pay over $81 million for the Low Level Radioactive Waste Siting Commission, originally imposed to site and construct a facility capable of disposing of the bi-product LLRW produced in New York by energy generators, hospitals, the bio-tech industry and others. The effort to site such a facility was abandoned in the early 1990s and the Commission was eliminated. The State nonetheless continues to assess millions in fees every year.

New York 's nuclear plants provide approximately 3,000 MW of power to millions of homes and businesses, and critical transportation, health and municipal systems throughout the state. At a time when energy companies are making every effort to maintain the safety and security of their facilities as well as providing energy at reasonable costs, adding a major expense to these generators simply adds significant costs to customers.

For these reasons The Business Council respectfully urges rejection of this assessment proposal.