Evans Sun Tax Undermines...

Governor Cuomo's Solar Vision

 Governor Cuomo wants to make it easier for low income households including renters to be able to share the benefits of solar power.

Businesses can also share solar!

The Evans Sun Tax will hurt residents & businesses.

Click the link below to read more.

http://fnabgl.org/evans-sun-tax-undermines-governors-solar-vision

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PLEASE  SIGN THE PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG BY CLINKING ON THIS LINK BELOW:

https://www.change.org/p/friends-neighbors-advocating-better-green-living-stop-the-sun-tax-in-evans-ny?recruiter=657173507&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive


NYS REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW § 48

Facts on Opting Out =Taxing the Sun!!

This fact sheet outlines important points for local governments that are considering opting out of RPTL § 487. 

What is the Real Property Tax Law § 487? This law provides a 15-year real property tax exemption for properties located in New York State with renewable energy systems, including solar electric systems. This law only applies to the value that a solar electric system adds to the overall value of the property; it does not mean that landowners with an installed renewable energy system are exempt from all property tax. A local government that does not opt out can still benefit financially through payment-inlieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements. In local governments that have taken no action one way or the other, the exemption is in effect. If a local law, ordinance, or resolution opting out of the exemption is adopted, a copy must be filed with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). 

What is the local economic impact of solar? New York State’s solar market is one of the fastest growing solar markets in the country. Installations grew by 575 percent from 2012 to 2015. During the same time period, the U.S. as a whole saw a 146 percent increase. New York State ranked seventh nationwide for cumulative solar installed capacity in 2015. 1 The solar industry is creating jobs across the State with more than 600 solar companies employing more than 8,250 people. In 2015, the solar industry added approximately 1,000 new jobs throughout the State, a 13.3 percent increase over 2014 job growth. The solar job market in the State is projected to grow another 11.6 percent in 2016, which means adding nearly 1,000 more jobs. With an average wage of $22.02 per hour, the solar industry is responsible for creating thousands of living-wage jobs that allow workers to contribute to their local economies. Most jobs are local or regional and cannot be outsourced.2 Why would jurisdictions opt out of the RPTL § 487? All local governments must offer the RPTL § 487 exemption unless they have opted out not to. Local governments can decide to opt out. As the solar market in New York continues to grow, many large-scale solar projects are being proposed throughout New York. Some local governments are opting out of RPTL § 487 so they can tax these multimillion-dollar projects and generate additional property tax revenue. However, these jurisdictions may find that they will not actually collect substantially more tax revenue from solar or other renewable energy systems because the systems may not be built if they are fully taxable. Property taxes can have a significant impact on the financial viability of solar electric projects, sometimes impacting project economics in a way that unintentionally prohibits solar electric development. 

Jurisdictions that opt out of RPTL § 487 may unintentionally prevent solar electric development at the local level. Activity in other states suggest there is less solar development in jurisdictions that opt out of the property tax exemption, with little to no additional tax revenue collected.3 

Can jurisdictions opt out of RPTL§ 487 for large-scale solar only? No. Under RPTL § 487, jurisdictions are not permitted to conditionally opt out of the property tax exemption. In other words, jurisdictions cannot choose to tax large systems but not small ones. A jurisdiction that opts out of RPTL § 487 to generate tax revenue from larger projects makes solar installations more expensive for homeowners and local businesses. 

Can jurisdictions capture revenue from installations without opting out of RPTL§ 487? Yes. The law allows jurisdictions that offer the RPTL § 487 exemption to negotiate payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs). The purpose of a PILOT is to reduce the tax burden and tax rate uncertainty on the property and/or system owner, while preserving some of the forgone revenue that would have been paid in property taxes. PILOTs are often used for large-scale4 renewable energy projects, including solar electric systems. They are annual payments commonly related to the system’s size (often in dollars per megawatt [MW]) and cannot exceed the amount of taxes that would be owed without the exemption. 

1 NY-Sun, nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/NY-Sun Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). “Top 10 Solar States 2015.” www.seia.org/research-resources/top-10-solar-states 

2 The Solar Foundation. “New York Solar Jobs Census 2015.” www.TSFcensus.org and SolarStates.org 

3 Barnes et al. 2013. “Property Taxes and Solar PV Systems: Policies, Practices, and Issues.” https://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/wp-content/ uploads/Property-Taxes-and-Solar-PV-Systems-2013.pdf 

4 In this fact sheet, large scale is considered solar electric projects that are in the megawatt range.



NYS REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW § 48

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    Can a municipality that has opted out of RPTL § 487 opt back in?  Yes. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has stated that local governments can reinstate the RPTL § 487 exemption simply by repealing the local law, ordinance, or resolution that implemented the opt out. The  nal step to reinstate the exemption is to provide a copy of the new law, ordinance, or resolution to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and NYSERDA.6  Do other states have property tax exemptions for solar electric systems?  Yes. Thirty-three states o er some form of tax exemptions for renewable energy. Twenty-two of those states mandate property tax exemptions for 100 percent of the value of solar energy installations over 10 or more years.7 These states include ones with signi cant solar development such as California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, as well as states with minimal solar capacity such as South Dakota, Kansas, and Montana. The majority of states recognize the positive  nancial impact property tax exemptions can have on solar electric development and the local economic bene ts of a robust solar industry.   

  1. 5  New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. January 2016. “Recently Asked Questions About the Real Property Tax Law on the Topic of Solar Energy.” Available at: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/legal/raq2.pdf?_ga=1.225179802.1031257166.1423 842465  
  2. 6  New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, supra note 13.  
  3. 7  Solar Power Rocks. https://solarpowerrocks.com/new-york/  

  Email info@training.ny-sun.ny.gov for more information about your municipality’s individual situation.  More information about RPTL § 487  NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. “Recent Questions on the Real Property Tax Law and Solar Energy Systems.” www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/legal/ raq2.pdf?_ga=1.225179802.1031257166.14238 42465  New York Solar Energy Industry Association (NYSEIA). “Webinar: Understanding the Property Tax Exemption for Solar in New York,” www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3Urll1-T0k  Barnes et al. “Property Taxes and Solar PV Systems: Policies, Practices, and Issues.” nccleantech.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/ Property-Taxes-and-Solar-PV-Systems-2013.pdf        NY-Sun, a dynamic public-private partnership, will drive growth in the solar industry and make solar technology more a ordable for all New Yorkers. NY-Sun brings together and expands existing programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), to ensure a coordinated, well-supported solar energy expansion plan and a transition to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.    

  1. 5  New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. January 2016. “Recently Asked Questions About the Real Property Tax Law on the Topic of Solar Energy.” Available at: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/legal/raq2.pdf?_ga=1.225179802.1031257166.1423 842465  
  2. 6  New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, supra note 13.  
  3. 7  Solar Power Rocks. https://solarpowerrocks.com/new-york/  

  Email info@training.ny-sun.ny.gov for more information about your municipality’s individual situation.  More information about RPTL § 487  NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. “Recent Questions on the Real Property Tax Law and Solar Energy Systems.” 

www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/legal/ raq2.pdf?_ga=1.225179802.1031257166.14238 42465  New York Solar Energy Industry Association (NYSEIA).

 “Webinar: Understanding the Property Tax Exemption for Solar in New York,” www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3Urll1-T0k  

Barnes et al. “Property Taxes and Solar PV Systems: Policies, Practices, and Issues.” nccleantech.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/ Property-Taxes-and-Solar-PV-Systems-2013.pdf        

NY-Sun, a dynamic public-private partnership, will drive growth in the solar industry and make solar technology more affordable for all New Yorkers. NY-Sun brings together and expands existing programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA),       

NYS Model Solar Energy Law

by egsiii | Jan 9, 2017

New York State Model Solar Energy Law

This Model Solar Energy Law (Model Law) is designed to assist communities in New York State adopt zoning provisions that promote solar energy systems while protecting community character and the environment. The Model Law is intended as a straightforward approach and leaves more complicated, site-specific issues to be handled through existing land use processes;

 http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/sustainability/reports/NYS_Model_Solar_Energy_LawToolkit_FINAL_final.pd

2. Statement of Purpose 

A. This Zoning for Solar Energy Law is adopted to advance and protect the public health, safety, and welfare of [Insert Name of Municipality], including: 

1) Taking advantage of a safe, abundant, renewable, and non-polluting energy resource; 

2) Decreasing the cost of energy to the owners of commercial and residential properties, including single-family houses; and 

3) Increasing employment and business development in the region by furthering the installation of Solar Energy Systems.

Town of Evans Proposal

REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW § 487

The Town of Evans Official Proposal to opt out of Tax Law 48

RESOLUTION – PROPOSED LOCAL LAW #1   WHEREAS, the State of New York has adopted an exemption from certain taxation for certain solar, wind energy, and farm waster energy systems under Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York; and WHEREAS, the aforementioned law further provides that a town may provide that no exemption under this section shall be applicable within its jurisdiction by adopting a Local Law to that effect same; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Evans authorizes the Town Clerk to advertise for a public hearing to be held on January 11, 2017 at 7:10 p.m. for the consideration of Proposed Local Law # 1 of 2017 to exercise the opt-out provision afforded local municipalities by Section 487 so that the exemption from real property taxation for solar, wind or farm waste energy systems shall not apply, nor be available, within the Town of Evans, Erie County, New York.      

 ROLL CALL VOTE:   Councilman Feldmann  ______________ Councilman Macko  _____________ Supervisor Hosler _____________ 




Please Attend this important public Hearing on 1/11/17 at 8787 Erie Road  Evans Town Hall


We can not urge you enough to attend!

THIS BILL IS BAD FOR GROWING EVANS AND BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!!!!!


In Our Opinion

Public Hearing 1.11.17 at 7PM 8787 Erie Rd

From the 1.09.17 Climate Smart meeting, the town argued its position to opt out of this RPTL 487 UNTIL the town updates its 20 year old Comprehension Plan. They seem hell bent to do this instead of extending the moratorium that is presently in place on any solar projects. Hosler makes a good argument about developing a plan on where larger solar projects should go and not go [i.e. not letting solar farms cut down trees or to put too near the waterfront, or residential developments], but this can be controlled through the extension of the moratorium that exists until the town updates its Comprehension Plan. 

There are HUGE RISKS involved in opting out the RPTL 487. With data the FBAGL has to back it up, it is basically bad advertising to opt out- something this town can not afford.[See below 2 Statement of Purpose].  Hosler wants to opt out of this law until the plan is written, which can take up to 18 months to write! 

We should instead form a task force to help them write these and get it written by the end of this year, extending the moratorium until 12.31.17.

Another great suggestion is to bring opting out or not up for a referendum and have "WE the PEOPLE" vote on it in November.

The law does state that we can opt back in at anytime, but at what price-what grant money are we going to miss out of if we are not in?        Cuomo is sending a lot of money to WNY. He is really promoting solar.  Why would we want to miss out on this wave of opportunity over the next few years because we opted out- it  seem so wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!  

[Bill Henry also stated something about our town achieving Climate Smart status. When a municipality achieves this status-it opens up the door for a lot of grant money to come in.] 

Then, there is this interpretation about assessment when you op out of the exemption. The town reads the language as no assessment, but the FNABGL folks, esp. Bill Henry, read the laws from the assessors manual and the RPTL 487 law -that differs from the town's. Meaning , if you got solar and other energy efficient products you can be assessed. 

WKBW News Story 1.11.17

Public Hearing on stopping the Solar Tax in Evans, NY 

A second hearing is scheduled for 1.18.17 @ 7PM 

 Town Hall 8787 Erie Rd

FNABGL Proposed Resolution

1.14.17's Newest Prop W.J. Henry –Chair of the Friends and Neighbors Advocating Better Green Living

1] Resolution of Evans Town Board Directing Timely Written Notification of Intention to Require Payments in Lieu of Taxes For Certain Energy Projects Otherwise Exempt from Taxation Under Real Property Tax Law Section 487 WHEREAS, Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law provides for certain solar or wind energy systems or farm waste energy systems to be exempt from county, town and school taxes, and WHEREAS, Subdivision 9 of Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law gives local municipalities the option of requiring the owner of a property which includes a solar or wind energy systems or farm waste energy systems to enter into a contract for payments in lieu of taxes, and WHEREAS, pursuant to Subdivision 9 of Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law, notification of the town’s intent to require a contract for payments in lieu of taxes must be provided by the town within sixty (60) days of the town being notified in writing by an owner or developer of their intent to construct such a system, WHEREAS, pursuant to any use of NYS ARTICLE 10 by either a Solar or Wind Company or Landowner shall be subject to a Pilot of 100 per cent of the amount in which the Town of Evans may charge under Subdivision 9 of the Section 487 WHEREAS, pursuant to any use of NYS ARTICLE 10 by either a Solar or Wind Company or Landowner the Town of Evans will require a Special Annual Use permit and said annual fee will be one million dollars. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board hereby declares its intention to require a contract for payments in lieu of taxes for such projects, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all Town of Evans officers are directed to immediately notify the Supervisor, Assessor and Town Clerk of any written communication received by such officer notifying the town of an owner or developer’s intention to construct or develop such a project or system pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Section 487 (9) and are further directed to promptly provide a copy of such written communication to the Supervisor, Assessor and Town Clerk, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Supervisor and Assessor are hereby directed to provide written notification to such owner or developer of the Town of Evan’s intention to require a contract for payments in lieu of taxes within sixty (60) days of receiving written notification from any owner or developer pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Section 487 (9). The Supervisor and Assessor are further directed to keep a permanent record of such written notification having been provided to such owner or developer. Copies of this resolution are to be provided to all Town of Evans officers. This resolution was copied and modified from the Town of Brants Resolution passed on Jan 10, 2017, Modification are in red. The Town of Brants Resolution was written by Attorney William Trash, the son of the late Rose Trask, a person who dedicated her life to helping the Town of Evans. This resolution would leave the Tax Exemption in Place for Homeowners, Businesses, and Farmers for Solar, Wind and Farm Waste and address the concerns our Town Board has in regards to Large Solar & Wind Farms . It would allow the Town of Evans the Time to plan, draft and Implement a Comprehensive Plan in regards to these Large Solar & Wind Farms. What better way to honor Rose. Respectfully William J Henry –Chairman of the Friends and Neighbors Advocating Better Green Living


2] The Town of Brant voted NOT to OPT OUT of RPTL 487. Instead this is there resolution to protect the RPTL 487: 

Resolution of Brant Town Board Directing Timely Written Notification of Intention to Require Payments in Lieu of Taxes For Certain Energy Projects Otherwise Exempt from Taxation Under Real Property Tax Law Section 487 WHEREAS, Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law provides for certain solar or wind energy systems or farm waste energy systems to be exempt from county, town and school taxes, and WHEREAS, Subdivision 9 of Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law gives local municipalities the option of requiring the owner of a property which includes a solar or wind energy systems or farm waste energy systems to enter into a contract for payments in lieu of taxes, and WHEREAS, pursuant to Subdivision 9 of Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law, notification of the town’s intent to require a contract for payments in lieu of taxes must be provided by the town within sixty (60) days of the town being notified in writing by an owner or developer of their intent to construct such a system, NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board hereby declares its intention to require a contract for payments in lieu of taxes for such projects, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all Town of Brant officers are directed to immediately notify the Supervisor, Assessor and Town Clerk of any written communication received by such officer notifying the town of an owner or developer’s intention to construct or develop such a project or system pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Section 487 (9) and are further directed to promptly provide a copy of such written communication to the Supervisor, Assessor and Town Clerk, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Supervisor and Assessor are hereby directed to provide written notification to such owner or developer of the Town of Brant’s intention to require a contract for payments in lieu of taxes within sixty (60) days of receiving written notification from any owner or developer pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Section 487 (9). The Supervisor and Assessor are further directed to keep a permanent record of such written notification having been provided to such owner or developer. 

Copies of this resolution are to be provided to all Town of Brant officers.



3] Click here to see town's offical notification http://www.townofevans.org/docs/legal-notices/1004-proposed-local-law-1-of-2017-3/file.html




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