OREGON – Constellation Energy Generation and the taxing districts that receive funds from the Byron Generating Station reached an agreement regarding how much is owed in property taxes and, in the process, are wiping away years of ongoing appeals.
“This agreement is a good agreement for all the taxing bodies in the county,” Ogle County Board Chairperson John Finfrock said during the board’s Tuesday June 20 meeting. “This took place over several meetings with Exelon and they were as accommodating as we were trying to get to a good point for all involved.”
Constellation previously was known as Exelon Generation Company. Exelon still is listed as the owner of the land on Ogle County property tax records.
Other parties involved in the settlement are the Oregon Park District, Byron Forest Preserve District, Byron Fire Protection District, Byron Library District, Byron Museum District, Rockvale Township, Rockvale Township Road District, Byron Community Unit School District, Rock Valley College, Oregon Community Unit School District and Kishwaukee College.
On Tuesday, Ogle County Board members unanimously voted to approve the agreement.
The agreement states that, for tax years 2022 through 2027, the station’s equalized assessed value will be $500 million and that Constellation will pay exactly $33,666,667 in property taxes each of those years.
A property’s EAV is one-third of its value.
The taxing bodies which will receive funds from Constellation’s tax payments are:
- Byron CUSD, $18,442,741.;
- Ogle County, $3,550,378;
- Byron Fire Protection District, $2,656,657;
- Byron Forest Preserve District, $2,247,989;
- Oregon Park District, $2,196,742;
- Rock Valley College, $2,132,975;
- Byron Library District, $826,993;
- Oregon CUSD, $690,351;
- Rockvale Township Road District, $505,193;
- Byron Museum District, $175,143;
- Rockvale Township, $163,884; and
- Kishwaukee College, $77,621.
The station had an EAV of $503,088,717 for tax year 2021, tax records show. As such, Constellation paid $34,900,997.44 in property taxes in 2022:
- Byron CUSD, $19,118,911.95.
- Ogle County, $3,680,546.74.
- Byron Fire Protection District, $2,754,058.56.
- Byron Forest Preserve District, $2,330,407.56.
- Oregon Park District, $2,277,281.38.
- Rock Valley College, $2,211,176.79.
- Byron Library District, $857,313.49.
- Oregon CUSD, $715,661.31.
- Rockvale Township Road District, $523,715.35.
- Byron Museum District, $181,564.72.
- Rockvale Township, $169,893.06.
- Kishwaukee College, $80,466.53.
“We took only a 2.9% reduction in taxes from Commonwealth Edison and that is basically next to nothing because we’re going to have the same amount of tax from them coming in – which makes it easier to budget – for six years,” Finfrock said.
Come 2028, the parties can renegotiate the station’s value, he said.
The nuclear plant’s EAV has been appealed almost every year since its opening. The two reactors came online in 1985 and 1987 and were licensed for 40 years. Both were granted 20-year license extensions in November 2015.
In addition to establishing a set EAV, the agreement resolves appeals that were filed for tax years 2012 through 2021, and requests the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board – the body which considers the cases – to dismiss them.
“That [dismissal] was a really big win for the taxing bodies,” OCUSD Superintendent Tom Mahoney said Thursday. “Everyone had a lot to lose with that.”
The OCUSD school board approved the agreement during its Tuesday meeting, Mahoney said.
“I think it’s a good deal and otherwise we wouldn’t have come back to you with it,” Finfrock told fellow Ogle County Board members before their vote.