Plymouth: Selectmen endorse Entergy PILOT agreement

Plymouth Selectmen have endorsed an article for the October 19th Town Meeting approving a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes, or PILOT, agreement negotiated over the last 18 months with Entergy Corporation, owner of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. Since the state limited the ability of municipalities to assess personal property tax on electrical generation plants, based on the highest value of the plants, Plymouth has negotiated PILOT agreements with Entergy.

The proposed agreement would cover the next three fiscal years and pay the town an average of $10 million a year. It would continue to preserve the 1,500 acres surrounding the plant from development.

When Boston Edison brought the Pilgrim nuclear power plant online 41 years ago, the company paid 50 percent of Plymouth’s property taxes. That resulted in a real estate boom that has increased the population four-fold, increased the number of schools, increased the town budget. Next year the plant’s current owner, Entergy Corporation, will pay 7 percent of Plymouth’s property taxes.

Selectman John Mahoney, up for re-election next year, speaks warning of the effect of the plant’s eventual closing. Tuesday night he said the town should not budget “a penny” of Pilgrim revenue past 2017.

The Pilgrim nuclear plant began operation in 1972. The NRC extended its license to 2032. Owner, Entergy, announced last week plans to close its plant of the same design and age in Vermont.

About Charles Mathewson