State supreme court sides with utility in $11.6 million tax battle

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

BOISE -- A divided Idaho Supreme Court has sided with the utility PacifiCorp in a tax fight the state has said could shift millions in assessments to others.

Justices issued a 3-2 ruling Monday, with the majority affirming a lower court decision in 2010 in favor of PacifiCorp. The justices found the utility's system for tax appraisal was not erroneous and was supported by competent evidence.

In September, Tax Commission officials said losing the case could mean property taxpayers face a combined bill of $11.6 million -- to refund utilities' taxes.

The state also predicted more utilities and railroads would adopt PacifiCorp's appraisal formula, shifting their future tax burden to other classes of property owners.

PacifiCorp had argued state appraisers inflated the value of its Rocky Mountain Power properties in Idaho.

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