Written by Record Pilot Staff Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
Local officials have been working with Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton to examine the tax impact of National Grid’s plant decommissioning. It has been a universal item of concern that the Glenwood plant will create a greater tax burden in the North Shore community. While the decision to decommission was beyond her purview as a county legislator, DeRiggi-Whitton has found a way to participate in the process within her level of government. She also has some relatively good news to ease concerns.
Recently, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy raised some questions about the tax assessment on the National Grid properties and how they might be assessed most fairly, in the best interest of residents and business owners. The mayor approached Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton with his research because the Nassau County assessor is responsible for this.
Together they set up an initial meeting to investigate how the properties are assessed. DeRiggi-Whitton is also working with her chief of staff at the Legislature, Dave Gugerty, longtime attorney and policy advisor. They called a meeting with both the Nassau County assessor’s office and several representatives from the Nassau County attorney’s office.
The officials have secured some relatively reassuring news. The tax impact is fairly limited and will not be the shocking spike that some have feared.
First, a New York State law, introduced by Senator Jack Martins and co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, prevents an increase of more than 1 percent for tax classes other than that of the plant. That means residents and business owners will not see a huge increase as a result of the plant closing. Only other utilities would have to make up the difference. This actually even includes National Grid, which could get a higher tax bill to make up the difference within their tax class.
Second, Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton voted yes, along with all of her colleagues on the Nassau County Legislature this year, to approve the 2014 tax levy. The numbers they approved confirm that there is no spike for residents and business owners stemming from the changes at National Grid.
This is just a preliminary announcement regarding a large, complicated issue. As the DeRiggi-Whitton and Gugerty continue their research, there are several important issues that must be dealt with. For one thing, when the PILOT for National Grid local property ends, the DeRiggi-Whitton would like to explore a regular taxing scenario. She also will work to push for redevelopment of the property in a timely manner to make sure taxes are coming from the property at an optimum amount.