• December 20, 2014

Luminant plans to pay taxes owed to county

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Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 4:30 am

CAMERON — Luminant Energy might file for bankruptcy this year, which could leave Milam County in a financial bind and eliminate more jobs, but the county will receive taxes the company owes for 2013, a company official said.

Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., which has a $3.8 million loan coming due in October, provides Milam with an estimated 38 percent of its $10.5 million ad valorem tax base.

Luminant paid $1.24 million in taxes to the county last year, while Luminant’s Sandow Power Co. added $2.5 million, for a total of $3.7 million.

This year, Luminant owes the county $1.28 million in taxes and Sandow owes $1.96 million.

“We successfully negotiated a fair value with the county for Sandow in 2013 and we plan to pay all the 2013 property taxes we owe in full by Jan. 31 for all taxing jurisdictions in Milam County,” Luminant spokesman Brad Watson said Friday.

The last day to pay taxes without a penalty is Jan. 31.

“It’s important to note that any restructuring at the company would be a financial restructuring of our debt, not an operational restructuring,” Watson said. “We have no plans to shut down plants or mines.”

County Tax Collector-Assessor Kolette Morgan said penalties and interest at 7 percent would start Feb. 1.

Luminant’s plan to pay current taxes, which would cover expenses in 2014, is good news to County Judge Dave Barkemeyer, but his concern now is what will occur with Luminant when tax-paying time rolls around in 2015 should Luminant file bankruptcy in October.

“We still face the need to be frugal as a county government,” he said.

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