DUNKIRK – The owners of the largest tax payer in the county wants to slash its Payment in Lieu of taxes agreement with the county, City of Dunkirk, and Dunkirk School district by 85 percent.
That’s according to Senator Cathy Young, who said NRG, which runs the large Power Plant in Dunkirk, filed a letter of intent with the state on Monday. If the reduction were to go into effect, it would result in a total loss of $7.1 million in tax revenue.
Young, who’s worked the past several years to ensure the NRG plant would not close down but instead by converted from a coal plant to one powered by natural gas, said the move is extremely disappointing, especially since our community has stood so soundly behind the company.
She also pledged to bring financial relief by outlining a plan of action which includes both short term and long term solutions.
Young said that if NRG refuses to restore the cut, in the short term she will fight to restore the PILOT amount to the city, school and county in this year’s state budget. Last year, the State Senate added a $19 million line item to provide assistance to communities across the state affected by the loss of power plants. Young said if necessary, she will push to access this fund to provide financial relief to the city, school, county and our taxpayers
In the Long term, she said it’s crucial that NRG not delay construction any longer on its RePowering project and get the work underway to convert the coal plant into a natural gas plant that she says will stabilize the tax base, provide jobs, and ensure that Western New York has a baseload power generator to grow manufacturing and other economic opportunities.