B y Matthew Saari

As more and more solar projects crop up in Washington County and across the state, more often than not municipal officials find themselves turning to Whitehall assessor Bruce Caza for answers.

Whitehall Assessor Bruce Caza

Caza has been a town assessor for 19 years but has been involved in property assessment since 1985. As such, over the past three years it’s been Caza’s duty to untangle the web that is solar payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs.
“Ever since it came to Whitehall,” Caza said.
The problem with solar projects is that the state offers incredible incentives to entice developers to the solar energy market.
Under New York State Real Property Tax Law 487 properties on which solar energy projects are erected are granted a 15-year tax exemption from any additional value added to the property as a result of the energy system.
However, as a measure of good faith, the law also allows solar developers to enter into PILOT programs with the separate taxing authorities, which as Caza himself has described, is more akin to “let’s make a deal.”

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

 

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