Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Deregulation to diminish school district funding

The Associated Press

        OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Money hasn't usually been a concern in the Benton-Carroll-Salem school district.

        Tax money generated from a nearby nuclear power plant allowed the rural district to build a new sports complex, a 750-seat auditorium and an Olympic-size swimming pool in the past 20 years.

        But electric deregulation will begin in January and will reduce the bill for real estate, personal property and taxes on nuclear fuel at the site of the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant. Deregulation will allow consumers to pick which company provides their electricity.

        FirstEnergy, which owns the plant, and its subsidiaries paid $10.8 million last year to the district.

        The tax money from Davis-Besse won't be lost immedi ately. The state will make up the different for current levies for 15 years, said Superintendent Charlie Burns, whose district has 2,000 students.

        Still, school officials in Oak Harbor expect to have a $1 million deficit next year.


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