boston globe Northwest

NStar didn't do its homework

January 4, 2004

NStar spokesman Mike Durand misled your readers when he stated that "government-owned utilities do not pay taxes" ("Bill may ease way for town light plant," Globe NorthWest, Dec. 25).

Had NStar done its homework, it would know (from the US Department of Energy's EIA Form 412, Schedule 5, line 9, available on the Energy Information Administration website) that the following 10 Boston-area municipal electric utilities made payments in lieu of taxes totaling $5,684,286 in 2002 to the towns they serve: Braintree paid $930,275, Concord $340,000, Danvers $830,064, Hudson $239,517, Littleton $350,000, Mansfield $601,000, Middleborough $275,058, Peabody $495,000, Reading $968,940, and Wakefield $654,432.

We, in Lexington, have done our homework. The future Lexington municipal electric utility will pay the town of Lexington the exact same amount NStar now pays in taxes. And while doing so, it will charge an average Lexington household $250 to $320 less per year than NStar, and will provide better service.

NStar opposes this legislation not because of Mr. Durand's false claims, but out of self-interest to preserve its current monopoly.