Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from New York
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.
Some last-minute wheeling and dealing paved the way for the 8-7 vote by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators passing the Galloo Island Wind Farm payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. Galloo Island Wind Farm developer Upstate NY Power Corp agreed to put $3 million in a community grant fund and $500,000 in a scholarship fund, made job guarantees.
The Jefferson County Legislature, after hearing from dozens of speakers both pro and con, approved the payment-in-lieu-of taxes agreement for the Galloo Island Wind Farm on an 8-5 vote. ...the acceptance of the 20-year agreement means that Upstate New York Power Corp. can now move forward with procuring the necessary permits for the project.
Wind turbines are exempt from sales taxes, a recent opinion by the state Department of Taxation and Finance states. It's unclear exactly how that will affect the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm, because the developer wouldn't say how much of the estimated $253 million originally said to be eligible for sales taxes includes turbine parts.
In a move that has implications for northern Oswego County, the Jefferson County Legislature's Finance and Rules Committee opted Tuesday evening to make no recommendations on a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement for the Galloo Island Wind Farm project. Instead, the committee sent the resolution to the full floor of its legislature.
A minor firestorm has flared after the attorney representing Upstate NY Power Corp., developer of the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm, claimed Thursday the developer never offered an 18-year PILOT to ease legislators' concerns about a proposed 20-year agreement.
The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency must now accomplish what it was asked to do in the first place: draft a uniform policy for payments in lieu of taxes by wind developers. That was the directive originally given by the county Legislature. Instead the JCIDA presented a proposed PILOT on behalf of Upstate NY Power Corp. to accommodate construction of its wind farm on Galloo Island.
The Jefferson County Board of Legislators did not vote on the agreement Tuesday night as planned. Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency surprised the legislators by asking that the resolutions dealing with the PILOT be deleted from the agenda.
The Watertown City Council, and more specifically Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham, has big issues with the economic benefits being offered to the developers of the Galloo Island Wind Farm project. The mayor has lashed out on his WATN 1240-AM radio show, his blog and Monday night at the City Council meeting against the proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement because, he says, it will minimize the amount of sales tax that flows to the city.
Flat Rock Windpower, the company under which the 195-turbine wind farm was developed, also is seeking court approval of a proposed escrow agreement that local taxing jurisdictions recently rejected - and the possible repayment of millions of dollars already sent to the county, towns and school districts. Based on a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan, the county billed Flat Rock for $8.99 million but received a payment of only $2.29 million.
Once these wind farms are established, they will forever change the Great Lakes, and not for the better. The minimal amount of power produced will go downstate, or haven't you noticed all the major power lines go south. The millions of taxpayer stimulus money will go to foreign investors like Iberdola. There is excess hydropower already in NNY, and more research should be done to improve existing hydro. We should be looking at all other types of renewable energy.