The Port Jefferson Power Plant property tax lawsuit has finally resulted in a long-awaited settlement that’s been 10 years in the making.
On Friday, the Town of Brookhaven, the Village of Port Jefferson, and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) struck an agreement to reduce the tax assessment on the power plant by 50 percent over nearly the next decade.
This deal comes after LIPA, which buys all the power from the Port Jefferson plant, argued that that about $32.6 million it pays annually in taxes is over-assessed, according to Newsday.
Town officials say the new reductions will be implemented for the 2017-18 tax year with further reductions in tax payments over the next nine years.
“This deal puts an end to the uncertainty of this plant over the course of nine years and gives finality to this issue,” said Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine.
If this deal wasn’t struck, Brookhaven Town taxpayers would have faced up to $225 million in back-payments to LIPA, said the town in a press release.
“This is an important step we made today to stabilize our tax base moving forward and the viability of any opportunity to re-power our power plant,” said Port Jefferson Village Mayor Margot Garant.
The settlement is the first of four lawsuits settled by LIPA over assessments to power plants in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
“For far too long this issue has put Long Island’s ratepayers on the edge of a volcano,” said Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island. “With this action, Supervisor Romaine and Mayor Garant have acknowledged that the current situation is unsustainable and needs to be resolved.
“One can only hope that other elected officials will follow their lead and put an end to an unfair assessment practice.”