[Adopted 10-15-2018 by L.L. No. 3-2018]
This article may be cited as the "Solar Energy System PILOT Law of the Town of Kingsbury, Washington County, New York."
This article is adopted to ensure that the benefits of the community's solar energy resource are available to the entire community by promoting the installation of solar-energy-generating equipment through a payment in lieu taxes (PILOT), granting reduced costs to system developers and energy consumers and of providing a revenue stream to the entire community.
This article is adopted under the authority granted by:
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANNUAL PAYMENT
- The payment due under a PILOT agreement entered into pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 487(9).
- ANNUAL PAYMENT DATE
- January 1 of each year.
- The manufacturer's nameplate capacity of the solar energy system as measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW) AC.
- The owner of the property on which a solar energy system is located or installed, or their lessee, licensee or other person authorized to install and operate a solar energy system on the property.
- RESIDENTIAL SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
- A solar energy system with a nameplate generating capacity less than 50 kW AC in size, installed on the roof or the property of a residential dwelling (including multi-family dwellings), and designed to serve that dwelling.
Collectors, controls, energy storage devices, heat pumps and pumps, heat exchangers, windmills, and other materials, hardware or equipment necessary to the process by which solar radiation is:
It does not include pipes, controls, insulation or other equipment which are part of the normal heating, cooling, or insulation system of a building. It does include insulated glazing or insulation to the extent that such materials exceed the energy efficiency standards required by New York law.
- SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
- An arrangement or combination of solar energy equipment designed to provide heating, cooling, hot water, or mechanical, chemical, or electrical energy by the collection of solar energy and its conversion, storage, protection and distribution.
The owner of a property on which a solar energy system is located or installed (including any improvement, reconstruction, or replacement thereof) shall enter into a PILOT agreement with the Town consistent with the terms of this article, except for:
The lessee or licensee of any owner of a property required to enter into a PILOT agreement by this section, which owns or controls the solar energy system, may enter into the PILOT agreement on behalf of the owner of the property.
C. Upon receipt of any notification from an owner or other person of intent to install a solar energy system, the Supervisor shall immediately, but in no case more than 60 days after receipt of the notification, notify the owner or other person of the mandatory requirement for a PILOT agreement pursuant to the terms of this article.
Nothing in this article shall exempt any requirement for compliance with state and local codes for the installation of any solar energy equipment or a solar energy system, or authorize the installation of any solar energy equipment or a solar energy system. All solar energy systems must file a Real Property tax exemption application pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 487 to receive a tax exemption.
Each PILOT agreement entered into shall include:
Name and contact information of the owner, or other party authorized to act upon behalf of the owner, of the solar energy system.
The SBL number for each parcel or portion of a parcel on which the solar energy system will be located.
A requirement for 15 successive annual payments, to be paid commencing on the first annual payment date after the effective date of the real property tax exemption granted pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 487.
The capacity of the solar energy system, and that if the capacity is increased or decreased as a result of a system upgrade, replacement, partial removal or retirement of solar energy equipment, the annual payments shall be increased or decreased on a pro rata basis for the remaining years of the agreement.
That the parties agree that under the authority of Real Property Tax Law § 487 the solar energy system shall be considered exempt from real property taxes for the fifteen-year life of the PILOT agreement.
That the PILOT agreement may not be assigned without the prior written consent of the Town, which consent may not be unreasonably withheld if the assignee has agreed, in writing, to accept all obligations of the owner, except that the owner may, with advance written notice to the Town but without prior consent, assign its payment obligations under the PILOT agreement to an affiliate of the owner or to any party who has provided or is providing financing to the owner for or related to the solar energy system and has agreed, in writing, to accept all payment obligations of the owner.
That the owner, its successors, assigns, licensees and lessee will waive their right to contest the assessed valuation attributable to the solar energy system for the duration of the PILOT.
That a notice of this agreement may be recorded by the owner at its expense, and that the Town shall cooperate in the execution of any notices or assignments with the owner and its successors.
That the annual payment shall be calculated based upon the following:
The baseline payment shall be $2,000 per megawatt (MW) capacity, based upon the total capacity for the solar energy system. The baseline payment shall be adjusted for inflation every five years commencing January 1, 2024, in accordance with the rates established by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Applying the baseline payment, the annual payment due will be calculated for 15 years, the life of the PILOT, based upon the percentages of the baseline payment derived from utilizing the inverse double declining balance method for calculating the depreciation of the solar energy system over time, resulting in reductions of the actual payment due and owing, calculating the annual payment obligations as follows:
That if the annual payment is not paid when due, that upon failure to cure within 30 days, the Town may cancel the PILOT agreement without notice to the owner, and the solar energy system shall thereafter be subject to taxation at its full assessed value.
Should any provision of this article be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of this article as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so decided to be unconstitutional or invalid.
This article shall be effective upon its filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with the Municipal Home Rule Law and shall apply to all solar energy systems constructed hereafter.