Supervisor Chad Lupinacci announced support Friday night for a tax deal with the Long Island Power Authority.
“This is, by far, the best proposal presented to the Town and that any municipality has negotiated with LIPA over legacy power plants on Long Island to date,” he said. “The town’s ability to negotiate such terms is due in large part to the substantial resources devoted to the defense of the case and the zealous advocacy of the Town’s attorneys.”
The Northport school board endorsed a plan reached with LIPA that would sharply reduce the utility’s tax bill on the Northport power plant from $86 million to $46 million by 2027.
Earlier in the day, town attorney Nick Ciappetta released information about the settlement that he said came as a court ruling on the long-running case appears imminent.
“The proposal represents the latest offer presented to the Town to date. Under the proposed settlement, LIPA and National Grid would forego the collection of over $825 million in taxes and interest that they claim are owed. This refund liability could result in the imposition of a one-time payment by each residential property owner in the Town of Huntington ranging, on average, between $10,000 and $25,000, depending on the valuation of the homeowner’s property. Refund liability for commercial property owners would be substantially higher based on their property’s valuation,” Ciappetta said.
Gene Cook, a Town Board member who has fought the settlement and pushed for a takeover of the plant, said, “This is a push under cover of darkness, under cover of an epidemic. I am surprised that both town atty and supervisor would do this. Any settlement is premature.”
The Town Board has not voted on the proposal.
Keith Brown, the Republican candidate for the 12th Assembly District and an East Northport resident, said, “I think the devil’s in the details. We know taxes are going up and see what they’re going up and the impact is. Lmiting the amount of tax increase is paramount.”
Michael Marcantonio, the Democratic candidate in the same race, said, “After running for supervisor in 2017 on opposing the LIPA tax hike, today Supervisor Chad ‘LIPAnacci’ has betrayed this community and sealed his scandal-plagued legacy with his support for LIPA’s disgraceful settlement. When the history is written on this saga, it will be noted that every resident of Northport, East Northport and Huntington was stabbed in the back by a weak, feckless leader who got conned by a government agency so rife with scandal and fraud it made even the Lupinacci administration seem clean by comparison. When I’m elected this fall, I promise that we will overturn at the state level any damage done at the town level.”
The town will post more information on its website, including the impact on property taxes, the potential impact of an adverse court judgment and refund liability for residential and commercial property owners, and other information.
The town also plans meetings to answer questions about the settlement framework and its impact.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said earlier in the day, “I have said from day one that it is critical for the parties to come together to settle this litigation and avoid a court decision that could be catastrophic for the community. I commend all parties involved and particularly the community leaders whose advocacy helped produce a far better outcome for Northport residents.”
LIPA lawsuit updates and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Town’s website: huntingtonny.gov/town-