LIPA, Nassau County reach settlement aimed at lowering tax bill for power plants

LIPA, Nassau County reach settlement aimed at lowering tax bill for power plants
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said the settlement the county reached with the Long Island Power Authority will lessen the burden for Nassau's taxpayers. (Photo courtesy of the Blakeman campaign)

The Long Island Power Authority and Nassau County reached an agreement aimed at lowering the tax bill for a pair of power plants, one of which is located in Glenwood Landing, by nearly half over the next five years.

The settlement, reached last week, will result in the $59 million annual tax bill on the two power plants being reduced to $32 million over the next five years, according to a news release. Authority officials said a tax certiorari trial scheduled for May 31 would have reduced the tax assessments on the two plants by at least 70 percent.

Officials also said the settlement continues guaranteed payments to three school districts, including the North Shore school district, through 2027 and “protects Nassau’s taxpayers from hundreds of millions of dollars of refund liability.” At $711 million per year, taxes are the authority’s second-largest expense, making up roughly 19 percent of customers’ bills, officials said.

“This settlement represents the best possible terms for Nassau County taxpayers, and it is a fair deal for LIPA customers too,” LIPA Chief Executive Officer Tom Falcone said.

“My administration is dedicated to solving problems that have been swept under the rug for years,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. “LIPA officials and my negotiating team have agreed on a formula that will relieve Nassau county of close to a billion dollars in liability, and ensures that Nassau County taxpayers are not burdened for mistakes made in the past.”

LIPA officials said the authority is willing to work with the school districts for settlement and resolution of separate “third-party beneficiary” tax litigation between LIPA and the districts. Officials said the county’s settlement is not contingent on those cases.

The North Shore school district, according to officials, receives 28 percent of its annual tax revenue from LIPA and National Grid services. Interim Superintendent Tom Dolan said the district is in continuous communication with the county administration and the settlement “represents an area of great concern to the district and the entire community.”

“Our awareness has resulted in constant contact with our elected officials and reliance upon legal resources who are familiar with this controversy and who have fought it successfully in neighboring districts,” Dolan continued. “To date, those twin efforts have been effective, and we thank those local and state representatives that have protected the district so well.”

In 2019, the county, under former Democratic County Executive Laura Curran,  reached a settlement with the power authority for a 50 percent tax reduction over seven years, but the Republican-controlled Legislature ultimately derailed it.

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