Planning begins for loss of Diablo Canyon tax revenue

June 22, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power PlantLocal government agencies are set to lose about $26.75 million in annual revenue as a result of PG&E’s decision to close Diablo Canyon power plant. However, the loss in revenue does not appear to be catastrophic for any one agency. [Tribune]

On Monday, PG&E signed an agreement to shut down the nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon when their licenses expire in 2024 and 2025. The decision impacts San Luis Obispo County, as well as several school districts and a harbor district, which receive property tax revenue from PG&E’s operation of Diablo Canyon.

The agency hardest hit by the announced closure of the nuclear plant is San Luis Coastal Unified School District. Diablo Canyon property taxes generate about $9.5 million annually for San Luis Coastal, or about 11 percent of the district’s total revenue.

The closure of Diablo Canyon is likely to cause San Luis Coastal to lose its basic-aid status. Basic-aid districts receive most of their revenue from local property taxes, rather than from state funding as most other school districts do.

Prater said California is pouring more money into state-funded districts, and San Luis Coastal was already at risk of losing its basic-aid status because of Gov. Jerry Brown’s opposition to the system.

San Luis Obispo County receives the second most revenue from Diablo Canyon property taxes. PG&E pays about $8 million a year in property taxes to the county. That accounts for less than two percent of the county budget, though. County officials say the loss in revenue will not be a major impact to the budget.

The Port San Luis Harbor District could face financial hardships as a result of its loss in tax revenue from PG&E. The harbor district receives about $440,000 annually, or about 7 percent of its budget, from Diablo Canyon property taxes.

District manager Andrea Lueker said she is unsure how the agency will recoup the losses, but she says the harbor commission will determine how much money it can obtain from a pool of aid offered by PG&E.

PG&E is offering to compensate SLO County agencies an estimated total of $49.5 million for the loss of tax revenue. The utility expects to recover that amount through nuclear decommission funding.

In addition to losing tax revenue, San Luis Obispo County will lose its planned desalination project as a result of Diablo Canyon closing. County officials had been planning to build a pipeline that would deliver water from the Diablo Canyon desalination plant to Avila Beach. The water would then go to South County homes. PG&E officials are now saying the project is dead.

Though PG&E officials have not discussed the issue publicly, there is some concern that Diablo Canyon will face closure in 2018 or 2019.

PG&E leases state tidelands for the plant to operate its cooling system, which sucks in water from the ocean and then returns it. The tidelands leases expire in 2018 and 2019, and PG&E is struggling to get the State Lands Commission to approve lease extensions.

In December, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom called for there to be a full environmental review before the commission decides on the lease extension. At the same meeting, Newsom accurately predicted Diablo Canyon would close by the time its licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.

The State Lands Commission may decide at a meeting next week whether PG&E’s tidelands lease extensions require an environmental impact report (EIR). If the commission does require an EIR, the process could take more than a year.


Kaiser Bill

By renewable energy, PG&E better mean hydro!

We need more hydro!

Hydro is the best source of generating electricity!

Solar and Wind power are Pipe dreams!

We need more hydro!


Can we just make a real list of employers in SLO County that pay the “average” worker a salary about let’s say $32 bucks an hour?

I say $32 an hour because “research” was done to calculate what a family with a wage earner and two school age kids would need to earn (without government subsidies like medi-cal and wic) to allow a family to live with decency on the central coast.

Let me start:

SLO County


Atascadero State Hospital

Schools for teachers,

Hospitals-nurses, ultrasound techs, doctors, respiratory therapists

Trust fund babies

old retirees

There is no proof this plant is unsafe. PG&E doesn’t want to fight hippies anymore. They are in stiff competition with solar companies that are now getting their new customers tax rebates. I am not opposed to this in anyway, I just want the REAL reasons for closing to just be put out there.


Well, I guess it will be time to dismantle the incredible county bureaucracy that has grown as the result of Diablo…that in itself should save millions.


Not so fast, the SLOEVC already is looking to task force those job losses away.

2 problems, they will need more county money$$ And they have a giant Brown Act “elephant” in the living room they have failed to deal with, someone needs to file on them.




Watch for new taxes, no way will the County tightened up and take the loss quietly. They will come for our wallets


If only they would reduce the salary bloat all the cities seem to rack up by hiring all these washed out people who were run out of the last cities they managed to screw up.


They are already, the 1/2 cent Road Tax is one which will be followed by the Park Tax, Golf Tax, etc. ete. etc. This tax is a joke if the taxpayers don’t demand that it all go to roads. Right now, only 25% of the collected amount will go to roads. Scam, shame and deceit!

People are crazy if they let the County in their wallets. I’m also glad that I don’t belong to the SLO School DIstrict because their gravy train is about to end.

Amazing how they are all down playing the financial loss reality of this until it happens and then they threaten us with loss of services, etc. and cry like babies and didn’t know this was going to happen.

Administrators, you have plenty of time to downsize, prepare and budget your resources like the rest of us. Get busy and start earning your paychecks. SUGGESTION: start with the pensions and benefits for employees!

Mitch C

Time to consolidate the 11 San Luis Obispo County School Districts into one. The consolidation would make the one SLO School District smaller than numerous other school districts in the state. Do we really need 11 Superintendents, 11 payroll department store, 11 separate transportation departments, 11 of this and 11 of that. Want to save money, cut the overhead.


Mitch, that is a great idea. Now, to get the public relations ball rolling, contact the new Grand Jury and request that they analyze your proposal and recommend consolidation.

The new Grand Jury will probably be sworn in sometime in the next week, and the first thing they will do after organizing and selecting their officers and committees, is begin selecting topics to study and report on.

Mitch (or any other SLO County citizen reading this), the timing is PERFECT to start the consolidation movement you have suggested, or some reasonable variation of it, by contacting the Grand Jury. After such a study and recommendation by the Grand Jury, then a citizens movement can organize to put the pressure on the public officials to implement such a consolidation.


It is certainly an idea worthy of consideration but you will find a lot of opposition by people who are concerned about loss of local control over their schools.

Also, while consolidation could and should reduce costs (maybe not with transportation dept though), there is no guarantee that it would do so. I would look to the Five Cities Fire Authority to see how well this has worked for them and what the problems were.


I think there is some real merit to what you’re saying. However if the remaining superintendent and their staff are not first rate then there would be a real train wreck. There political struggle over which office would remain would also be hellacious.

Mitch C

Sam, we have a County Superintendent of Schools … a position without purpose. The County Superintendent could fill the role of Superintendent for the consolidated districts.


The Diablo site would be ideal for the 1000 MW Trident Wind floating farm project proposed for Morro Bay last December. (

Still, 1MW pales to Diablo’s 1.8 GW which translates to Diablo’s nuclear generation as being 18,000 TIMES more productive.

Nothing is more efficient than nuclear power when the process is managed correctly and unfettered by rambling US politics.

Nuclear power isn’t for everybody. America should steer clear of that business and just stick with what it knows best-negotiating and going to war with other countries to receive their crude at the expense of human sacrifice.

It’s the American way.

Kaiser Bill

Wind power is a joke!

We need more hydro!


Correct me if I am wrong, but you don’t knock the reactors down and load them into a pickup and haul them to the dump. They will be there for years to come.

Unless PG&E makes the property public, they still own the property and will continue to pay property taxes, so why the decrease?

What am I missing here?


Property taxes are based on value.

What is the value of a non functioning nuclear plant?


Makes sense, thanks.


The non-functioning nuclear power plant is going to be a great place to store tons of nuclear waste. That sounds like a valuable service to me.


I know what you readers are thinking …. “Time for another school bond measure”


“Measures” with an S….yes yes I am.

Mr. Holly

You haven’t seen anything yet. As I have posted before there will be new bonds for everything, increased fees for everything, pay increases for the public sector because they are going to have to work with more studies on how to keep their lifestyles in place while making the rest of us pay for it.

Do you think that they would ever do a study titled “DOING WITHOUT”