Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from New York
Before the vote, board President Michael Comerford announced that the board would table "this indefinitely pending clarification of contractual issues." Afterward, Comerford declined to comment further, as did Superintendent Vincent Coppola.
A payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for any wind power project will need approval from all of the involved taxing jurisdictions, agreed members of the governance committee of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. The committee is updating its uniform tax-exempt policy, which normally allows PILOTs to be approved only by the agency board unless they fall outside of the set policy.
To create a class of taxpayers who do not answer to the electorate is indefensible. The members of JCIDA who argue that these PILOTs need local approval are right and should hold their ground before Jefferson County's property taxpayers are any further disenfranchised. And it is time for the Legislature to wake up to its responsibility and take away from JCIDA the power to provide lower property taxes to the selected few.
In considering a revised uniform tax exempt policy for forgiving property, mortgage recording and sales taxes for developers, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency board members disputed how much oversight local taxing jurisdictions should have on individual agreements.
Local and county issues will not be part of a uniform tax-exempt policy for wind power projects, but the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency board will consider the issues along with the projects. The agency's governance committee met Wednesday morning to discuss changes to its uniform policy, which applies to all projects that ask for tax abatements.
Jefferson County taxpayers could be left paying town and school district taxes for a wind farm if the developer fails to pay the project taxes, warns Paul J. Warneck, Jefferson County director of real property services. County officials are worried that taxpayers will have limited recourse if a wind farm leasing land for its turbines does not make its tax or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes payments.
The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan for the Galloo Island Wind Farm was not supposed to be a model for other wind power projects. Yet that is what's happening in the debate over a zoning law regulating wind power developments in the town of Cape Vincent.
Nearly a month after the Maple Ridge Wind Farm regained Empire Zone certification, local taxing jurisdictions are still awaiting the balance of last year's annual payment. And the municipalities plan to resume legal action against Flat Rock Windpower, the company under which Maple Ridge was developed, if the $6.7 million isn't released soon.
Nearly two years have elapsed since the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency was asked to draft a uniform tax-exempt policy for wind power developments. Where is it? Talks are on hold, according to Donald C. Alexander, JCIDA's chief executive officer. Wind PILOT; JCIDA uniform policy overdue
It was a very Good Friday for Maple Ridge Wind Farm municipalities. The wind farm and three other north country companies - HCA Genesis Inc. in Watertown, Lewis Lanes in Lowville and M&W Foods Inc. in Potsdam - on Friday morning were recertified into the Empire Zone program.
The Hardscrabble wind farm project has hit a bump in the road. County officials earlier this week held back their support of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the developer, Iberdrola Renewables subsidiary Atlantic Wind LLC.
By October, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency had paid its consultants about $38,000 to develop a model property tax exemption policy for wind power developments. But the big money paid to JCIDA attorneys came after Oct. 6, and that number will remain secret because it has been paid by the company bringing Galloo Island Wind Farm to Jefferson County.
The Town of Alfred's planning board submitted its first complete version of wind energy laws Thursday night, while Supervisor Tom Mansfield and others expressed anger at knowledge the town is being omitted from payment arrangements between Alfred State College and the Village of Alfred.
We were promised activity and updates on the important but open aspects of a decommissioning plan and a transmission line alternate route through the town of Hounsfield. When eight Jefferson County legislators voted yes to allow tax breaks, we all feared that our leverage was lost and a bad deal was just made worse.
Just about everyone else who has had cash carried by wind project developers rubbed under their nose, the county Legislature can't resist the bitter but alluring smell of lucre. In fact, I've got a tip for NYPA chief Richie Kessel: all you'll have to do to make this opposition melt away is to propose a PILOT payment agreement for any offshore wind farm that is proposed.
The Herkimer County Legislature has ended five years of negotiations with Iberdrola Renewables by approving a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement for the company's Hardscrabble Wind Project in the towns of Fairfield and Norway. "A lot of legislative time and effort was put into the negotiations, and the end result is an agreement that has the best interest of the taxpayers in mind," County Administrator James Wallace said after Friday's unanimous vote.
I would like to "thank" Jefferson County legislators for opening the door to the big wind companies' invasion of Jefferson County. They are allowing these companies to come into our communities to destroy our life, our health and our homes. All legislators should have done their homework on the wind issue.
Wind developers are here because they can make money. Right now, thanks to tax incentives and public policy, wind power is profitable in New York state. We have exactly what the wind farm investors need... They have fewer choices than they might want us to believe, and for every deal we lose, another will come to take its place. If wind farms are coming, or at least prospective wind farm developers, we need to be ready for them and reap the benefits on our terms. To them, it's just money. To us, it's our home.
The town of Henderson is asking a judge to annul the town of Hounsfield Planning Board's site plan approval for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. The Henderson Town Council filed a state Supreme Court Article 78 proceeding Friday at the Jefferson County clerk's office against Hounsfield, the project's developer, Upstate NY Power Corp., Seneca, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The irresponsible decision by the Jefferson County Legislature approving a tax abatement plan for the Galloo Island Wind Farm leaves unresolved several issues that will bedevil the county for years to come. A last-minute offer of another $3.5 million in community benefits by Upstate NY Power Corp. sweetened the deal sufficiently to win the eight votes needed for county approval of a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan for the project. But that does not end the dispute.