Vistra Challenges County Auditor’s Property Assessment for Zimmer for 2020 Tax Year

Vistra Corp., the company that owns the William H. Zimmer coal-fired power plant in Moscow, is challenging the Clermont County Auditor’s assessment of the power plant and property for the 2020 tax year.

In September 2020, Vistra announced that it would close the Zimmer power plant by “year-end 2027 or sooner if economic or other conditions warrant”.

In May 2021, Vistra said it was accelerating the closure of Zimmer as the company continued its transition away from coal. Vistra will shut down Zimmer on May 31.

Prior to the shutdown, Vistra’s senior director of community affairs, Brad Watson, explained that Vistra is challenging the county auditor’s assessment of the power plant and property for the 2020 tax year.

The county auditor’s assessment of the powerhouse property was $140 million. Vistra thinks it’s worth about 80% less, or about $28 million.

“We are appealing the 2020 tax year because we feel we want to pay our fair share, and so we want to seek a fair valuation of the Zimmer Power Plant,” he explained.

Vistra representatives went to the Clermont County Board of Review and then appealed to the state level. They are scheduled to appear before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals on July 26, Watson confirmed.

The local governments and school districts that will be affected if the challenge is confirmed are:

– Exempt local school district of New Richmond.

– Joint Professional School of American Grants.

– Township of Monroe.

– Township of Washington.

– Village of Moscow.

– Clermont County Public Library.

– County of Clermont.

Zimmer’s closure and Vistra’s challenge to the power plant’s assessment and ownership by the county auditor were discussed in a meeting between representatives of Vistra and local government and community leaders in the Washington Township on March 29.

Looking ahead, Watson said Vistara continues to evaluate the site for potential investments in grid-scale battery storage, using existing infrastructure; Vistra performs this work at its factory sites across the country.