SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield has won an appeal against Eversource over the company’s non-payment of property taxes.
According to a news release sent to 22News from City Councilors Michael Fenton and Timothy Allen, the Massachusetts Appeals Court denied Eversource’s appeal of the decision by the State Appellate Tax Board that ruled the company had to pay their personal property tax bill for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
The councilors say that Eversource owes back taxes on personal property after a new property valuation method introduced by the city in 2012 reassessed the properties, increasing the property values and taxes owed. They say the company owes the city over $42-million dating back to 2012.
During the appeal process, Eversource has used a state law that allows personal property taxpayers to pay fifty percent of taxes during an appeal. Eversource has 21 days to appeal the Appeals Court decision to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Eversource currently has other cases with municipalities across the state in regard to the property tax payment issue. They have appealed the valuation method in three other cases, which eventually were all ruled in the municipalities’ favor.
“We applaud the decision by the Appeals Court. We are confident that our approach and our bills are correct,” said Councilor Fenton. “This decision underscores that opinion. Citizens are required to pay their taxes on time. We are glad that Eversource has lost this appeal again and hopefully will decide to pay their taxes like good citizens do.”
Councilor Allen said, “Valuation methods and bills are technical and something the public depends on the city to take care of. But paying your bills is a language that everyone understands. Thanks to our citizens for paying your bills on time and we are glad that Eversource has again lost their attempt to challenge their bill and will now hopefully do the right thing and pay their bills like their customers do.”
22News contacted Eversource for a comment on the ruling. Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress provided this statement:
We know the critical role that our property tax payments through infrastructure programs that are designed for the benefit of customers play in shaping the revenues available to municipalities to fund local budgets.
We also take seriously our responsibility to not just provide that support for our communities but to balance our duty to customers to control project costs, which include associated property taxes. We are closely reviewing this ruling and evaluating our options while working toward an equitable result for all.Priscilla Ress, Eversource Spokesperson
Read the court’s ruling here: