Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from New York
Lewis County is set to lose millions of dollars in Empire Zone money, but the head of the state's Empire Development Agency says that could change. Each year, the county has received $2 million in Empire Zone money to use toward its budget. Without the credits, that amount shrivels to $500,000.
Jefferson County's Board of Legislators slowed down its consideration of the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. ...Chairman Barry M. Ormsby, R-Belleville, said representatives of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency and Galloo Island's developer, Upstate NY Power Corp., would come to the meeting. Mr. Ormsby said they also would allow the public to speak during privilege of the floor, though no public hearing is required.
At a public hearing on the Galloo Island Wind Farm payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal, no one from the town of Hounsfield raised a voice in support of or in opposition to a plan that will bring $2.14 million annually to the county, town, Sackets Harbor Central School and Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. You have to wonder why. ...Add it all up, and you can see just how much this "private sector" developer will rely on federal, state and local taxpayers to permit him to make profits. Especially galling is the extent to which local officials, especially the IDA, are doling out hard-won tax dollars to bring, at best, a handful of jobs to the region, and a short-lived flurry of construction money.
Jefferson County homeowners, dairy farmers and small businesses will pay the price in higher taxes to subsidize tax breaks for developers of the Galloo Island Wind Farm under the terms of a tax agreement worked out with the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. ...It's a lousy deal for taxpayers, and it gets worse. PILOTs and other preferential treatment for developers are meant to foster job growth, but the wind farm will generate a handful of permanent jobs beyond the short-term construction work.
The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm would take some money that normally would go to the school district and give it to the town. The PILOT would send 50 percent to Sackets Harbor Central School District, 15 percent to the town of Hounsfield and 35 percent to Jefferson County. The three are splitting a $2.14 million pie, which will increase 2.5 percent each year for 20 years.
At a public hearing on the Galloo Island Wind Farm payment in lieu of taxes deal, no one from the town of Hounsfield raised a voice in support of or in opposition to a plan that will bring $2.14 million annually to the county, town, Sackets Harbor Central School and Jefferson County IDA. You have to wonder why. The deal, after all, will give the wind farm an 85 percent break on taxes that would be due without the PILOT. On an assessment of $400 million (the project will cost at least $500 million to build), from a total property tax bill of $14.52 million, the school district alone would receive $8.9 million dollars a year.
The proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm is ready to agree to spend more than $2 million per year as part of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, but it stands to save nearly $23 million in other tax abatements. Officials from the town of Hounsfield, Sackets Harbor Central School District and Jefferson County are firming up their division of a property tax PILOT, which will generate $2.14 million per year.
A handful of people from outside Hounsfield commented on the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement Monday night. The PILOT considered at the hearing, held by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, only covers the 84 turbines and ancillary structures on the island and the underwater transmission line in Hounsfield. There will be PILOT negotiations and a public hearing sometime in the future for the part of the 50.6-mile transmission line that runs from Henderson to the town of Mexico.
To meet a developer's request for speed, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency will begin laying out a property tax relief program for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. While the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement will follow the formula developed for a uniform tax-exempt policy, JCIDA will not seek approval of the uniform policy now. That would require all affected taxing jurisdictions from the four proposed wind projects to sign on, which officials believe would take too long.
While hopeful that the Maple Ridge Wind Farm will retain Empire Zone benefits, local leaders are preparing for the worst-case scenario: a $6.3 million drop in combined wind-farm revenue for area governments. While Lewis County projected $2.16 million from the wind farm in this year's budget, the proposed 2010 budget likely will include only about $600,000, the amount the county would receive if Empire Zone benefits are revoked, County Manager David H. Pendergast said. That's nearly a $1.6 million reduction.
I recently read about Lewis County's loss of income from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm because of the loss of their Empire Zone certification. This is something of great importance to any community that is considering wind farms. When monies come into a community, budgets are set up and the spending begins. Projects are started, and the community depends on the yearly income from the wind farms to meet the demand of new expenses and projects. Now Lewis County has to make up a loss of income.
Representatives of town governments want more of the financial pie from new industrial wind power developments, but many Cattaraugus County residents say they are financed by federal debt and long-range costs to the community will outweigh benefits. These sentiments dominated three public hearings on a tax-incentive proposal for wind developers by the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency.
The Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency will seek public comments at 6:30 p. m. tonight, Wednesday and Thursday in hearings on proposed revisions to the agency's uniform tax exemption policy to accommodate wind farm developments. The revisions, if adopted, will set a schedule for payments-in-lieu-of-taxes.
Not only is Lewis County dealing with a decrease in sales tax revenue and a lack of information about how much state aid it will receive, it's also dealing with the loss of a major money maker. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm ...recently lost its certification as part of the state's Empire Development Zone, which means it lost critical tax breaks and other business incentives.
State utility regulators today authorized an auction to distribute $95 million to new power plants fueled by the wind, the sun, biomass or other renewable sources. The auction will be the fourth conducted under a standing state mandate to derive 25 percent of New York's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2013. Members of the state Public Service Commission ...noted that the time is right for new renewable energy projects.
A payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement being developed by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency will give away tens of millions of dollars in taxes with minimal return for the price being paid by county taxpayers. A uniform policy plan being prepared by the agency will collect $2.5 million from developers of the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm in its first year of operation. That represents about 15 percent to 20 percent of what would be collected if the project paid full taxes.
Jefferson County development officials continue to wrestle with the terms of a tax-exempt policy for several wind power projects planned for the county. ...The projects will have far-reaching impacts throughout the county and not just on the host communities, while they do not provide long-term jobs. Project developers should pay taxes like other businesses and industries.
Low electrical transmission capacity is not only making it difficult for wind power developers to figure out how to connect to the grid; it's created another hurdle for development of a uniform tax-exempt policy. The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency was charged with creating the policy to guide all payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements for wind farms by the county Board of Legislators last year.
The board of directors of the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency is expected to review a proposed agency policy Tuesday that will establish how much industrial-scale wind farms must pay to local taxing authorities during their incentive periods. The IDA provides tax exemptions for 10 to 15 years, along with other incentives, to developers seeking assistance and conduit loans.
A Friday ruling by the State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, invalidated the 12-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal given to the power generator by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency in October 2006. ...The IDA had granted the power company a 12-year, $192 million PILOT in exchange for the company's promise to pursue a shot at building a state-subsidized clean coal plant under former Gov. George Pataki's Advanced Clean Coal Initiative.