Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from New York
The Naples School Board voted last week to accept an agreement with First Wind that would give the district higher payments on any windmills the company may build within the district boundaries. ...At this point, Macaluso said First Wind has put the project on hold because of finance troubles.
Taxing jurisdictions benefiting from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm have retained an Albany firm to lobby against proposed Empire Zone program changes that could impact future revenues. "We've got a lot of money at stake," Lewis County Attorney Richard J. Graham said at Tuesday evening's legislators meeting. County legislators approved an agreement with Capitol Public Strategies to provide consulting services for up to $7,500 per month for the next four months.
A new tax incentive is in place for the stalled First Wind wind farm project in Prattsburgh, pending what officials hope is the final approval by the Naples Central School District next week. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency signed on to a new payment-inlieu of-taxes (PILOT) agreement that will provide more money to the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts while also increasing the town of Prattsburgh's share.
The passage of a resolution by the Legislature last Wednesday established Herkimer County's negotiating position regarding payment in lieu of taxes agreements for wind projects: Closing an interconnected effort amongst affected municipalities and school districts over four years in the making. Ongoing proposals by Iberdrola Renewable Energies to build wind turbines include: The Hardscrabble Project in the towns of Norway and Fairfield, with Owen D. Young Central School District; and the Jordanville Project in the towns of Stark and Warren, with West Canada Valley Central School District. The resolution sets a PILOT payment of $8,000 per megawatt.
[W]e are being urged to support the construction of massive wind turbine farms all over this country. Why are these developers so eager to build these massive inefficient industrial complexes? Because our state and federal government are offering lucrative tax incentives to build them. Where do you suppose this money will come from? The taxpayers. These international companies hire public relations firms to market their product. They love to use buzzwords such as: green energy, renewable energy, carbon exchange, global warming, etc., to lure you into thinking wind turbines are the answer to our energy needs.
Cattaraugus County has retained its ability to tax alternative energy systems - including wind farms, solar energy systems and on-farm methane digesters - with a 16-2 vote for passage of a local law Tuesday. The law applies to facilities within the county, including as many as four potential wind farm projects under consideration, and effectively disarms a state tax code provision exempting these energy sources from taxes. ...The vote came after residents and elected officials from the towns of Freedom, Machias and Farmersville stated their opposition in a 45-minute public hearing. Most said they were told the IDA's payment-in-lieu-of- taxes (PILOT) agreements will unfairly take a share of the wind farms' monetary payments.
Money doesn't grow on trees, but it may grow on windmills. The developers of the four proposed wind farms in Jefferson County could capitalize on tax breaks and incentives at the federal, state and local levels through their projects. Opponents say the subsidies take taxpayer money and give it to those who already are rich. "It's the taxpayers and electric customers that are taken to the cleaners," said Glenn R. Schleede, a widely known wind power opponent who has worked for electric utilities and the federal Office of Management and Budget.
At Tuesday's Board of Education meeting at Jefferson Middle School, school officials decided to opt out of Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law after hearing from Bill Daly and Rich Dixon of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency. The law makes the installation of energy improvement systems - solar power, windmills - exempt from taxes. By opting out, the district is placing the IDA in charge of negotiations regarding alternative energy should a company wants to develop wind energy in the county, Daly said. The IDA will be responsible for negotiating tax agreements for the county, city, towns and school districts.
For the first five years, starting with last year, the 195-turbine wind farm's payments are primarily based on the actual amount that would be paid in taxes on the 140 Phase I turbines. Since the assessed value of the turbines is essentially fixed, a drop in combined tax rates would ultimately result in a smaller payment. Assuming the other major wind farm beneficiaries - the county and towns of Martinsburg and Harrisburg - choose to keep their levies stable, as well, the payment amount will certainly decrease, Mr. McAuliffe said. However, the extent won't be known until county and town tax rates are set in late fall, he said.
Every wind-generating power company in New York needs to come under closer scrutiny. There is just too much public money at stake. An aggressive watchdog is needed to make sense of the complicated deals they make, to protect taxpayers and to monitor the conduct of public officials whose decisions can yield wind generators millions of dollars. That's why a state attorney general's investigation of two wind-power companies is so important -- and why a critical, independent eye should be kept on the rest of the industry. ...These agreements need to above-board without even the hint of conflict.
The Westfield and Ripley school districts, as well as some municipalities such as the town of Portland, have chosen to opt out of the tax exempt status wind energy developers are eligible to receive. "Wind farms fall under some tax exemption which taxing jurisdictions can reject (opt out of)," Peter Gross of Babcock and Brown explained. "This requires that we get a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement with the county, otherwise our assets would be assessed at their full value, resulting in a tax payment that would kill the project economics.
The Cattaraugus County Legislature will decide Wednesday whether to spend $25,000 on a law firm to help negotiate payments from future wind farm developers within the county. Several lawmakers have stated they hope to keep the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency from collecting a percentage of a project worth several hundred millions of dollars, and several said they first want to meet with lawyers in person before agreeing to a contract. The requested $50,000 appropriation was halved after the Finance Committee amended the legislation during the initial round of discussion last Wednesday.
A disagreement over the terms of a tax deal for a windfarm development in Prattsburgh will apparently have to be settled in court. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency refused to change the terms of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement Thursday for a 36-turbine project by First Wind, formerly known as UPC. Attorneys for the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts requested a renegotiation, claiming the company should be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars more in taxes. The tax agreement involves First Wind paying a fixed amount to the school districts, the town of Prattsburgh and the county over a 20-year period.
A disagreement over the terms of a tax deal for a windfarm development in Prattsburgh will apparently have to be settled in court. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency refused to change the terms of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement Thursday for a 36-turbine project by First Wind, formerly known as UPC. Attorneys for the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts requested a renegotiation claiming the company should be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars more in taxes. ...The Prattsburgh school district is being shorted about $1 million, school attorneys claim.
As Jefferson County, towns and school districts continue negotiations on splitting wind power development payments in lieu of taxes, towns have asked for an even larger piece of the pie than an earlier suggestion that included a host community agreement. ...According to a spreadsheet obtained by a Freedom of Information request from the Jefferson County administrator's office, the town of Clayton offered numbers in which towns would receive 47.5 percent, schools would receive 37.5 percent and the county would receive 15 percent of any tax break money.
[T]he City Council approved a payment-in-lieu-of- taxes agreement for Steel Winds II, the second phase of the wind energy development on the former Bethlehem site. The agreement covers each of the proposed 13 turbines for 15 years, beginning when each is put into place. The payment will be based on $10,000 per megawatt for the 32.5 megawatts expected to be produced. ...A significant change in the new agreement is the inclusion of the school district and Erie County in the disbursement of PILOT monies. Neither was included in the original agreement...
Aside from Wyoming County, there are 62 other wind energy projects proposed across the state, according to the New York Independent System Operator. They include plans by Massachusetts-based First Wind (UPC Wind) for two projects in Ontario County and one in Genesee County; a 120-megawatt wind farm in Orleans County by Airtricity Inc. of Ireland; and a 75-megawatt wind farm in Genesee County by Tonawanda Creek Wind LLC. ...Fanning all this wind farm activity is the federal government's renewable energy production tax credit of about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, said Thomas Drennen, a professor of economics and environmental studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.
Just how tax payments from a windfarm development in Prattsburgh should be divided was argued this week before Supreme Court Judge Peter Bradstreet. No decision was made in a lawsuit filed by the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts against a payment-in-lieu of taxes agreement approved by the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency in January. No decision on the claim was made and Bradstreet's office said there is no timetable when a ruling will be made. ...But Premo said the town agreement was frequently referred to in discussions and documents setting up the PILOT. "This was structured in a way to divert money away from the districts," Premo said. "There is no indication they will do anything differently (in May)."
Has the controversy over wind power blown away in Howard? Fewer than 20 residents came out to a Steuben County Industrial Development Agency hearing Thursday evening on a proposed Payment In Lieu of Taxes Agreement with EverPower Renewables, a New York-based company planning to build 25 wind turbines south of Howard. Two people made comments to SCIDA Executive Director James Sherron. ...In exchange for the tax breaks, EverPower will sign on for a 20-year payment plan to give funds to the Town of Howard - which will receive 24 percent - the Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District will get nearly 60 percent and Steuben County the rest.
Two school districts claim they won't get their fair share of tax payments from a wind farm development planned for the Prattsburgh area. Charging deliberate attempts to prevent them from receiving proper payments, two local school districts filed lawsuits recently against the town of Prattsburgh and Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, and other agencies. The lawsuits filed by both the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts allege the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the yet-to-be-built 36-turbine wind farm project creates a significant loss in anticipated revenues for the schools. Both districts want the tax agreement thrown out.