“At its Monday work session, the Lewiston Town Board approved a resolution in opposition to §575-b, a proposed amendment to New York State Real Property Tax Law §487 that, if approved, would drastically alter how real property is assessed for wind and solar energy systems.
Town Attorney Al Bax apprised the board, “This is in response to the proposal from the state to enact what they’re calling §575-b, which is an amendment to the real property tax law. Effectively, it would allow the state to, in effect, control the taxes that can be imposed on properties that are alternative energy sources. So, solar and wind, obviously, if they would do so, it would take our local government power away on local control over that issue.
“And in effect, if they reduce the tax below our local tax rate, (it) would be then depleting our tax base.”
As it currently stands, the state law provides for a 15-year real tax exemption on properties that contain wind and solar energy projects. This exemption is not mandatory, however. In fact, §487 allows for local governments to opt out of the exemption, and tax wind or solar energy projects based on a property’s assessed value. If a municipality does opt out of §487, it can require a wind or solar project to enter into a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement.”
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Duffy, Terry. Niagra Frontier Productions 12 March 2021.