SOMERSET – The town board will hold a public hearing next month on a proposed law opting Somerset out of a state program that allows energy projects to be property tax-exempt.
New York State Real Property Tax Law Section 487 says property that contains a wind, solar or farm waste energy project approved by the state is exempt from real property taxes for 15 years. Local taxing jurisdictions can “opt out” of automatic tax exemption and collect local property taxes on large energy developments by adopting a law.
The public hearing on the town’s proposed law will be held at 6:30 p.m. June 8.
The Barker Central board of education already adopted a similar law earlier this week.
“Should a wind farm come into reality, the school district wanted to retain the option of ensuring that the company makes an appropriate contribution to the local tax base,” Superintendent Roger Klatt said.
Regarding the town’s proposed law, the board will not vote on it in June. Public comments offered in the hearing will digested first, according to Supervisor Dan Engert.
“The decision to adopt (the local law) depends on if the board wants to opt out or allow the exemption that has been on the books to continue,” he said.
Based on feedback that he has received from townspeople so far, Engert said, he is in favor of the opt-out law.
If it’s adopted by the town, he added, he will be in touch with Somerset’s county legislator, John Syracuse, to encourage introduction of an opt-out law at the county level.
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