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Ameren Tax Dispute stalled after September hearing

Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Pike County Assessor Donna Prior said Monday that only word could best describe the status of Ameren Missouri’s tax appeal — “stalled.”
According to a previous Times article, since 2013 the utility giant has appealed the assessed valuations of the personal property and real estate in 19 different Missouri counties, including Pike County.
The last significant movement in this drawn-out tax dispute was September 19, when attorneys for both Ameren Missouri and the 19 counties involved in the appeal met in a St. Louis area hotel conference room for a hearing with a State Tax Commission representative.
During the hours-long hearing, attorneys sparred with one another over the different methods of calculating depreciation and called various witnesses to testify.
Among those called to testify was Pam Harrison, who identified herself as an Ameren Missouri employee who is familiar with depreciation of assets.
Under cross-examination by attorney Dick Reed, who is representing the 19 counties, Harrison acknowledged that she is not an accountant nor is knowledgeable of “the technical definitions or methods of calculating depreciation.”
Harrison was later pressed for details regarding a 2008 report from Ameren Missouri, which states that a gas main has a typical service life of 55 years to 60 years and that gas lines have a typical service life of 30 to 55 years. was the first she had ever seen this document or its contents.
Following this response, Reed asked Harrison at what point Ameren Missouri views an asset as having “exceeded the recapture returns of investment,” or when an item has paid for itself and its replacement.

Read the rest of the story in the November 28 issue of the Bowling Green Times.

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