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LES distributing $20.9 million to local governments

LINCOLN — As a community-owned public power company, Lincoln Electric System will pay $20.9 million to local governments in 2020 through its annual payment in lieu of tax and city dividend for utility ownership.

LES' 2019 payment in lieu of tax of $13.1 million was distributed to Lincoln Public Schools, Lancaster County and the city of Lincoln on April 30. The city of Waverly also received its quarterly payment.

LES splits the city dividend for utility ownership, which goes to the city of Lincoln, into two equal payments. LES will pay $7.8 million through the city dividend. The first transaction of $3.9 million occurred Feb. 20 with the second scheduled for Aug. 20.

The payment in lieu of tax, required by the city charter, represents 5 percent of the previous calendar year’s retail electric revenue from the cities LES serves. Lincoln Public Schools and local governments receive the payment from LES based on their proportionate share of property tax rates. Since the payment’s inception in 1966, LES has now given $312.3 million back to the community.

“With the annual payment in lieu of tax and city dividend for utility ownership, LES has been supporting education and infrastructure in the community for nearly 55 years,” said Dustan Daniel, manager, LES Financial Accounting. “These additional funds to local budgets are part of the advantage of having a community-owned, locally controlled electric utility in our area.”

The payment in lieu of tax paid to local governments, based on 2019 revenues, will be distributed as follows:

  • Lincoln Public Schools - $8.5 million.
  • City of Lincoln - $2.2 million.
  • Lancaster County - $2.0 million.
  • City of Waverly - $400,000.
  • TOTAL - $13.1 million.

To learn more about how LES powers the community, the utility’s annual report can be found at The 2019 Annual Report will be released May 2020.