Oconee takes hit on new Duke assessment

Oconee County appears to be in line for a hit of more than two and a half million dollars in this year’s Duke Energy tax bill. County Auditor Ken Nix this morning announced the state’s 2014 assessment of the electric utility’s holdings in Oconee dropped from $132.5 million in 2013 to 118.6 million for 2014. But Nix says the decrease is offset by lower state industrial credits for Duke and provides a net assessment decrease of $9.5 million from last year’s. Duke’s tax bill won’t be set until September 2 when County Council sets the new tax levy. Based on last year’s rate as an estimate, Nix says, Duke’s Oconee tax bill will run about $24.7 million—compared to $27.4 million in 2013. Oconee relies on Duke for tax revenue amounting to about 25% of the revenue that pays for county and school operations.