LIPA: “Yes” on Glenwood; “No” on Northport Plant
In a settlement that could have profound impact on nearby Northport, the Long Island Power Authority (“LIPA”) a state agency, reached a tentative deal with Nassau County over the tax assessment of LIPA’s Glenwood Landing and Island Park power plants.
The tentative deal calls for a 50% reduction in the taxes LIPA pays for school, town and county property taxes, with the reduction to be phased-in over seven years, from 2021 to 2028. That tax reduction for LIPA likely means a tax increase for all other property owners, to compensate for the loss of revenue.
The Glenwood Landing Power plant currently pays $23 million in annual taxes, and the Island Park plant currently pays $42 million in annual property taxes. The tentative deal must still be approved by the Nassau Supreme Court, and Nassau County Legislature.
The Town of Huntington has also been battling against LIPA over the property tax assessment of the Northport power plant. The plant pays annual property taxes for $84 million, and LIPA is seeking to cut that to under $9 million. That $75 million difference would be devastating for the Northport-East Northport School District - which receives approximately $45 million from LIPA - which payments constitute over 30% of the entire school district budget. That would translate to an average property tax increase for Northport residents of $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 per household. Huntington residents outside of Northport would also see significant, but smaller, property tax increases. One positive aspect of the Nassau settlements is that LIPA waived any claim for refund of past tax "overpayments" which could have bankrupted the local communities. In Northport, LIPA is claiming over $650 million in back tax refunds.
Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R-Huntington) has been a fierce critic of LIPA, and has filed suit to block LIPA from shifting their local tax burden onto homeowners. Lupinacci's Town Attorney, Nick Ciappetta has expressed the Town's willingness to try to resolve the dispute with LIPA stating "We are always willing to negotiate..." but added that Huntington cannot accept a settlement that "would be devastating to the Northport-East Northport school district."