BY MICHAEL RICONDA
NEW CITY – The County Legislature joined the Town of Haverstraw and other jurisdictions and officially voted on Tuesday for a resolution approving a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement between NRG Bowline and various county, town and village entities in a deal to clarify ongoing tax confusions regarding the Haverstraw Power Plant.
Under the agreement, the facility will pay an annual $2.7 million in town, county, school district, and village taxes for seven years. In exchange, the county is obligated to repay Bowline an estimated $358,632 in ovepaid real property taxes.
The Legislature expressed optimism regarding the deal, hoping it will establish clear tax obligations and settle longstanding questions regarding tax revenues for localities.
“[The deal] will provide financial stability in the assessment and collection of taxes on that property, which has been the subject of litigation of over a decade,” Legislator Ilan Schoenberger said.
County, town and village entities have been engaged in lengthy and expensive litigation with NRG over what it saw as high tax burdens resulting from inaccurate appraisals of the plant. The dispute dates back to before NRG’s purchase of the plant and includes Mirant (now known as GenOn), which successfully challenged value assessments in 2009.
“We went through a long process of litigation,” Schoenberger said. “It was in a federal court in Texas. The end result of the Mirant ruling alone cost the county of Rockland alone about $32 million.”
The agreement has been approved by the villages of Haverstraw and West Haverstraw (scheduled for approval Wednesday night), the Town of Haverstraw, the North Rockland Central School District and the Rockland County Industrial Development Agency.