Portsmouth officials calculate the income tax cost of a Piketon shutdown

By Frank Lewis

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The city of Portsmouth has calculated the possible loss of revenue from income tax should the worst case scenario occur at the Piketon Department of Energy reservation.

Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen told City Council on Monday night he asked Portsmouth City Solicitor Trent Williams to check into the possible impact it would have on the city of Portsmouth if the American Centrifuge Plant project and/or the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) project would be shut down.

“With the Centrifuge site, if that goes down, it looks like $40,000 of annual lost revenue,” Allen said. “And if they don’t continue with the cleanup portion, which I believe they will, that’s $100,000 of income tax on an annual basis.”

At a recent Congressional hearing, Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explained why he has called for a halt to the ACP project.

“(It’s) unfortunate. I completely agree for the decision, namely – number one is that scrubbing really hard on the need for enriched uranium using American origin technology, we were able to extend the time frame for that very very dramatically, something I am happy to come and discuss with you in the days ahead,” Moniz said. “Secondly, the technical judgment made is that continuing to spin the (centrifuge) machines will not give us any more technical knowledge on the technology that we will preserve. We are not pulling the plug. But right now it’s hard to justify $50 million for something we think will have little to no technical return.”

The largest number of ACP employees reside in Scioto County. According to the latest figures, 31 percent reside in Scioto County; 26 percent in Pike County; 21 percent in Ross County; 7 percent in Jackson County; 3 percent in Adams County and 12 percent in other counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. In 2014 the gross payroll was $28.5 million making the average salary, excluding benefits, $82,103.

The D&D project has been funded through Dec. 11 through the passage of the latest Continuing Resolution. However the future of the program continues to hang in the balance.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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