There can be no doubt that anyone who pays taxes would like nothing more than to see them reduced. In 2010, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) filed a suit against the Town of Huntington seeking a reduction on the taxes it pays to the Town and the Northport Schools. In the spring of 2013, an agreement was reached in Albany that would:
“eliminate any back taxes the Town owes to LIPA from the date the lawsuit was filed in 2010 to present (currently estimated at $170 million and expected to grow as high as $250 million by October); maintain LIPA’s current $75 million tax payment for at least the next two years; then provide for a gradual reduction of tax payments by LIPA over a 10-year period. This phased-in strategy would resolve the lawsuit, protect the Town from further litigation, significantly limit the financial exposure to taxpayers, and allow the affected entities time to develop a long term strategy that addresses the changes in LIPA tax revenue.” (Source: website of State Sen. John Flanagan.)
Frustrated by the lack of response from LIPA to requests for additional information as to how the figures of the proposed settlement were reached, the Huntington Town Board and Supervisor Frank Petrone passed a resolution requesting an extension by LIPA of the settlement deadline and the additional information sought by the Town. The Northport School district has also sued LIPA for breaching their tax agreement and suing the Town.
Many are opposed to the terms of the current settlement as they feel that there is no justification on the part of LIPA to be awarded such a tax reduction. Is the strategy a gamble? There are certainly some who think so. However, the potential increased tax impact for homeowners who could be saddled with a significant tax increase requires vigilance on the part of all concerned.
We encourage residents to become informed, take a position, and inform Huntington Town board members of their interests. The Fort Salonga Association is first and foremost a property owners association. Minimally, the Albany compromise as it currently stands must be challenged. Know that we are supporting the Town in this effort.