Oswego School Board Considers Six-Year PILOT Deal With Nine Mile

Board members view what the payments would be like under the tentative agreement.

Board members view what the payments would be like under the tentative agreement.

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City School District held a public hearing on Nov. 3 regarding the tentative PILOT agreement with Nine Mile Point.

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Board members view what the payments would be like under the tentative agreement.

Joe Shields, of Ferrara and Fiorenza Law Firm, briefly explained the proposed pact to the board. Only a handful of people were in the audience.

To grant an exemption, the school board is required to pass a resolution granting the real property tax exemption pursuant to Real Property Tax Law 485 after a public hearing is held on the subject, Shields explained.

The district would be authorized to exempt Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station from real property taxes, special ad valorem taxes and special assessments charged by the district and the Oswego School District Public Library, Shields said.

The exemption period would be set by the district’s resolution.

The proposal is for July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2020.

It could have been for 10 more years, but the facility wanted a shorter deal, Shields explained.

If a PILOT agreement cannot be reached by the time the exemption goes into effect, the statute provides for a base payment formula until such time an agreement can be reached, Shields pointed out.

The district, the town of Scriba and the county have reached a tentative agreement with the nuclear power plant, which provides for six years of PIOLT payments.

“Payments would be made to the district in two equal installments on Oct. 31 and Feb. 28 of each school district fiscal year. Just like tax payments would be (made),” Shields said.

Tentative payments (to the district) would be:

•    $25,534,686 – 2014-15
•    $23,000,000 – 2015-16
•    $21,000,000 – 2016-17
•    $17,000,000 – 2017-18
•    $16,605,857 – 2018-19
•    $16,605,857 – 2019-20

For a total of $119,746,400.

The agreement provides that upon execution, Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station will seek to change the basis of the exemption to one under Real Property Tax Law 412-a.

This is a county IDA based exemption that would provide additional benefits to the facility owner (from construction projects out there), but would not impact the payments owed to the district under the agreement, Shields said.

If this change in exemption basis doesn’t occur, payments to the district would increase by about $2 million per year for tax years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

“My understanding is the county and town already held their public hearings on this issue and the town may have entered into an agreement,” Shields said.

After Shields’ presentation, the board closed the public hearing and then adjourned.

The board vote on the resolution is scheduled for Nov. 17’s meeting.