Missouri appeals court rules in favor of electric company
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled against a county in its dispute with an electric company regarding property depreciation.
The initial dispute was in 2013 between Ameren Missouri and 16 counties, including Cape Girardeau County, said Bob Adams, the county’s assessor.
Court documents show the main issues involved the methodology used to determine valuation for tax purposes resulting from depreciation.
Ameren argued the county assessment valued natural-gas distribution lines too high and wanted a tax reduction, the Southeast Missourian reported .
A state tax commission changed Missouri’s valuation processes in 2013, requiring natural-gas companies to report real and personal property for valuation and assessment. Before 2013, depreciation was not applied to property value, but that year Ameren submitted a report different from the county’s assessment.
Court documents show Adams questioned Ameren’s figures and the tax commission agreed.
A trial judge ruled in favor of Cape Girardeau County in 2016, concluding the county assessor applied a “depreciation of over 50 percent.”
Ameren appealed, saying the commission was wrong in agreeing with the county assessment because Adams made no deduction for depreciation in his assessment. The state appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of the company.
Adams said the decision won’t significantly affect the public.
“When this whole thing started, the first question we asked (when) Ameren wanted this reduction was, ‘Will you reduce the rates to the citizens in our community, if you’re going to get a significant tax reduction?’ They said no, it will not affect rates,” Adams said.
Adams said his office plans to appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court.
Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com