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Owner of now-shuttered biodigester late on property taxes, officials say

A gravel road leading to the Dovetail biowaste facility in Fairborn.
Chris Welter
The Dovetail biowaste facility on Herr Road.

Following the closure of Dovetail Energy’s biodigester in Greene County, the company has missed property tax payments. Local officials said they aren’t sure they’ll get paid.

The company owes Greene County more than $100,000. This includes a delinquent amount of $66,000. Dovetail Energy made its last payment in April 2022, according to the Greene County Auditor website.

The company has not disclosed the reason for nonpayment to the agency. But the biodigester on Herr Road shut down last year to avoid state fines.

Officials from Dovetail Energy and its operator, Renergy, could not be reached by WYSO.

The address is subject to two different property tax calculations — one for the land, and one for the facility itself. The facility leases the land it sits on; the owner of the land — which isn't Dovetail — is up to date on its property taxes.

Although the facility is taxed like a property, it's considered a public utility, according to Greene County Auditor David Graham.

That makes this case tricky, he said.

“Obviously, we want our tax dollars. It’s not fair that others have to pay taxes and Dovetail or any other delinquent property doesn't. But how do we enforce that is kind of where we're stuck,” Graham said.

Greene County Treasurer Kraig Hagler said this makes consequences like foreclosure, difficult to enforce.

“And we can't make anybody pay their taxes. We're not a policing form of government,” Hagler said.

Hagler said this situation has never occurred in the county before. It’s possible it could turn into a civil matter.

“I don't think the (taxes are) ever going to get collected in my honest opinion, but I could be wrong,” he said.

About two-thirds of those tax dollars are meant to go to the Fairborn School District. The school district’s treasurer and superintendent declined to give comment.

Graham said he’s trying to reach the Ohio Department of Administrative Services for advice on the matter.

The next due date for 2023 property taxes is July 19.

Adriana Martinez-Smiley (she/they) is the Environment and Indigenous Affairs Reporter for WYSO. They grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in June 2023. Before joining WYSO, her work has been featured in NHPR, WBEZ and WTTW.

Email: amartinez-smiley@wyso.org
Cell phone: 937-342-2905
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