Everett (with Bill Weld on Its Team) Takes on Baker Administration Over Power Plant Cash

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The city of Everett is suing the Baker administration in an attempt to get its fair share of tax money from the huge power plant on the Mystic River. Lawyers for the city say the tax breaks the state negotiated for the power plant back in 1999 shortchanges the city because the facility actually has increased in value as opposed to losing value, a scenario on which the deal was based.

The state gave the power plant, located across the street from the emerging Wynn Boston Harbor casino, in an effort to spur expansion. The facility back in 1999 was a $600 million project. But the owners of the plant invested far more making the property much more valuable. Everett contends it was short-changed by as much as $400 million over the years, according to the Boston Globe.

Ironically, one of the lawyers for the law firm hired by the city is former Gov. Bill Weld, a former boss and mentor of sorts for Gov. Charlie Baker.

The city has been trying to get what its lawyers say is its fair share of tax money from the plant for some time. They asked the Baker administration to decertify the tax break deal because there had been “a material change” in the property that would allow a decertification of the deal. The state said no so the city is going to court.

Mystic Generating Station, Everett, Mass.

A lawyer for the plant’s owners says his client has paid about $300 million to the city since the start of the deal in 2000.

One of the city’s attorneys, Brian Dunphy, told the Boston Globe, “The city’s position is that a variance or a deviation of 100 percent between the representation that’s in the agreement for the investment amount versus what turned out to be the actual investment number is material as a matter of law…That warrants rescission of the agreement.”