What you need to know about Industrial Wind Farms
Northern NY Wind
PILOT or TAXATION
Another Argument For Full Taxes,
Farmers and solar development
Solar energy “farms” are not agriculture.
• Once a solar lease is signed, that property owner is no longer a farmer, they are now a landlord and their new tenant is an electric generating plant.
• Farmers are hardworking people that produce our food and we have all supported them. The proof… We all make up the property tax deficiency made by area farmers for them to take advantage of their Ag property tax exemption.
• No one is objecting to anyones lucrative land lease deal, but the tax payers of the town should not be asked to subsidize a commercial solar energy plant by allowing a PILOT or any other property tax discount for the landlords or their tenant, the developer. They must be required to pay full property taxes on their assessment, just like other businesses and property owners.
• Allowing a property owner to do what they want with their property is different from a developer doing what they want with the leased property.
An industrial energy lease (along with so called good neighbor agreements) gives the solar or wind developer control of the property and excludes the property owner from any say in the developer’s planned use. Grouped together, these leases allow a corporation, not individual property owners, to control a very large tract of land in our towns. Your new small town neighbor will now be a large corporate tenant operating an industrial power plant. If you have any problems with your new corporate neighbor you will now be required to telephone a 1-800 complaint hot line located elsewhere to speak to someone you do not know.
• Large scale solar is an invasive industry unwilling to pay taxes. It dooms our communities to permanent ineligibility for more appealing economic development possibilities through the use of liberal setbacks and noise regulations restricting ALL OTHER property owners land use, not the developers.
Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT)
PILOT agreements provide significant property tax relief to developers of large scale projects. A PILOT is the negotiated reduced payment to a town instead of, or “in lieu of”, full property tax payments. When a developer requests negotiation of a PILOT it is because they do not want to pay the full property taxes on their assessment like other businesses and property owners of a town.
To date (September 2020), no commercial wind project in New York state has been built without a PILOT agreement that provides significant property tax relief to the developer.
Taxes instead of receiving a PILOT - letter to Parishville Town Board, November 22, 2016
May/June 2021 Association of Towns (AOT)
"Assessment of Solar and Wind Equipment - The enacted budget now requires assessors to use the discounted cash flow assessment methodology with standardized rates set by the state when valuing solar and wind projects that are over 1 megawatt. Before setting the rates, the state is required to seek the input of the New York State Assessors Association, as well as allow for a public hearing on the preliminary rates. This is applicable to localities that have opted out of the exemption and tax the real property associated with these projects."
Documents you need to have in the argument for full taxes... New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Advisory Appraisal reports:
Appraisal Report of the Landwest Wind Farm
2017 Advisory Appraisal for the Town of Wethersfield.
Taxable Status Date March 1, 2017
Appraisal Report of the Landwest Wind Farm
2011 Advisory Appraisal for the Town of Wethersfield.
Taxable Status Date March 1, 2011
September 2, 2018
County clear on PILOT expectations for Galloo wind project. To date, no commercial wind project in New York state has been built without a PILOT agreement that provides significant property tax relief to the developer.
November 16, 2018
Fenner 2019 final budget approved, includes tax increase - "The amount to be raised by taxes was $12,000 less than last year, but because of the windmill assessment [reduction], there wasn’t much we could do...
September 11, 2018
Maple Ridge owners seeking assessment reductions on wind farm
July 20, 2018
A sharp slap of reality by Perry White
No company has a presumptive right to tax abatement...
May 5, 2017
No economic benefit in sight by Perry White
New York School Board Association
Under tax cap, PILOTs pose new financial peril
March 12, 2015
PILOT license: JCIDA head embellishes support for proposed wind project
Local example of potential tax revenue from wind development "improvement" verses PILOT
Read and share this crucial information every NY town & citizen needs to know now.
CALL TO ACTION:
Urge your local government to adopt a Moratorium on wind and solar development to allow them time to research and create laws that will protect you from many negative health, environmental, and economic impacts.
Negotiating a PILOT ?
For example on solar, a NYSERDA document states: "NYSERDA's research indicates that PILOT rates should be negotiable between 1% and 3% of the compensation solar developers receive for the electricity their projects generate." But, on average solar projects in New York are only expected to produce less than 19% of their promised “nameplate capacity”.
Translation: If you negotiate a portion of production/energy generation as payment, you will receive 1-3% of 19% as noted above (capacity factor) not 1-3% of 100% which is promised (nameplate capacity).
Nov. 3, 2021 - NYS Tug Hill Commission video, PILOT Agreements, Valuation Issues, and Renewable Energy Projects