Local Economy and Health: Closure of an industrial facility can impact community-wide health outcomes by way of reductions in tax base for local services. Closure of the Shawnee Fossil Plant would reduce the $1.1 million in payment-in-lieu-of-tax financial contribution provided to the County.Shawnee’s workers are also responsible for $300,000 in payroll taxes paid to the county.[i] This could potentially impact funding for police, fire forces and EMS, critical for public safety. Money is also required to ensure quality education. TVA contributed $3,713,739.97 to the McCracken County School budget for the 2014 fiscal year.Such funds play a role in ensuring the quality of education and sustainability of the school.
For a plant retirement scenario, secondary impacts may result if parents must move away from the area in search of employment resulting in a reduction of income from school enrollment.McCracken (pop. 65,864) and Ballard (pop. 8,253) counties may feel the impacts of increased unemployment the most; unemployment in these counties is at 7.3% and 8.4% respectively.[ii]
[i] PILOT payments from TVA are based on all of its assets in McCracken County, which includes the Shawnee plant, transmission wires, and other infrastructure. We cannot disentangle how much of these payments are due to Shawnee alone. Therefore, in the absence of the plant, PILOT payments to the county would still exist but would be significantly smaller. [ii] U.S. Census Data. Retrieved July 15, 2013.