Navajo plant closure to cost Arizona county $40M in taxes

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The closure of a coal-fired power plant in far northern Arizona led to the loss of $40 million in property tax revenue for Coconino County, county officials said.

The Navajo Generating Station in Page, near the Arizona-Utah border, shut down in 2019. A trio of towering concrete stacks was demolished in December.

County finance director Siri Mullaney delivered the revenue projection to the Board of Supervisors this week as the county works on its fiscal year 2022 budget, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.

Board Vice Chairwoman Lena Fowler said organizations that are funded by property taxes also be impacted by the plant’s closure.

“So we’ll see it in our health department, our flood district, our schools and fire districts,” Fowler said.

The owners of the Navajo Generation Station decided to close the 2,250-megawatt plant as natural gas became a cheaper source of energy. The plant once provided electricity to Arizona, Nevada and California, but its customer base dwindled as states decided against using coal-fired power.

The plant also provided electricity to send Colorado River water through a series of canals to Arizona’s major metropolitan areas.