Flathead Beacon: Baucus and Tester send letter to Glencore and BPA

Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester are urging the Swiss commodities company Glencore International AG to reopen its shuttered Columbia Falls Aluminum Company plant, while expressing concern over the company’s request for a large property tax reduction at its Flathead County facility.

In a recent letter to officials at the Bonneville Power Administration and Glencore, the parent company of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company, Baucus and Tester wrote to “express their support for a power purchase agreement” that would enable the CFAC aluminum plant to begin operating again.

The senators also question why Glencore is asking for lower taxes at the plant when the company’s value is expected to rise by billions of dollars soon.

Glencore announced an initial public offering (IPO) in April, around the same time it came to light that CFAC officials were applying for a 95 percent reduction in property taxes at their Columbia Falls aluminum plant.

“Given Glencore’s announcement of an initial public offering that could raise as much as $12 billion for the company,” the senators wrote, “we are concerned about the company’s request under a new provision in (state) law that Flathead County waive 95% of the property taxes for the CFAC plant.”

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