Residents opposing the Long Island Power Authority’s attempts to lower its taxes on the Northport Power Plant will meet Monday to discuss strategy and developments in the battle.
LIPA and the town are locked in a legal battle over the utility’s pursuit of reduced taxes on the Northport power plant. Opponents of LIPA say the lawsuit could drastically affect taxpayers, particularly those in the Northport-East Northport school district, which gets as much as $54 million from the $82 million LIPA annual payment. The utility’s lawsuit centers on the correct tax assessment of the plant, which LIPA says is is worth far less than what the town assesses.
Some of the debate has played out on Facebook and in the pages of the Northport Observer. Some members of Concerned Taxpayers Against LIPA complained when the weekly paper ran a LIPA ad outlining its argument for tax relief. However, Michael Marcantonio, however, a one-time candidate for State Assembly, placed his own ad, entitled “A Response to LIPA Lies in ‘Huntington Town Resident Q&A’.” He challenges LIPA on several points, starting with referring to the creation of LIPA as “its original sin,” when it was formed to rescue the former Long Island Lighting Company from bankruptcy. Marcantonio has been active in the fight, attending the trial, which is in recess until July.
LIPA has offered a settlement reducing those taxes to $42 million over nine years. Newsday reported last week that the town of Huntington has made three counteroffers, all rejected by LIPA,
LIPA has also created a website, Tax Fairness for Long Island, arguing that because the Northport plant is old and overtaxed, forcing other taxpayers on Long Island to have to pay more.
The Island Park school district, also battling LIPA on a similar tax grievance, said in a newsletter to residents that a settlement of the tax case with LIPA was “near.” the Town of Brookhaven agreed to a settlement with in December to reduce property tax bills on the Port Jefferson plant by millions of dollars.
Monday’s meeting of the anti-LIPA activists is set for Monday at 7 p.m. at the Northport-East Northport Library on Laurel Avenue.