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Orange County

AES to Get $1.8-Million Refund

September 10, 2004|Stanley Allison | Times Staff Writer

Orange County will refund to AES $1.8 million in property taxes that the energy company said it overpaid because of a flawed assessment of its value.

The refund settles a two-year dispute in which AES said the county wrongly assessed the Huntington Beach plant's value at $325 million. AES also operates power plants in Long Beach, Redondo Beach and Newhall.

The assessment was based on $225 million in improvements the company made to two idle generators during the state's energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.

AES appealed, saying most of the improvement costs were unrelated to the value of the upgraded units. The county performed an audit and agreed to cut the plant's assessed value to about $150 million.

As a result of the refund, Huntington Beach will lose about $258,000 from its share of the next disbursement of property tax revenue.

"It's not a very high percentage of the total we get" in property tax revenue, said Economic Development Director David Biggs. "It's not at the point where we have to cut $258,000" from the budget.

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