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Judge: Long Island Power Authority Must Pay $70M In Back Taxes

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A judge has ordered the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to pay Suffolk County $70 million in back taxes. This is a momentary win for taxpayers and a setback for LIPA ratepayers.

According to LIPA, it doesn’t owe the money because of a 2013 law that capped property tax increases at two-percent. It warned towns it wasn’t going to pay, and then it stopped paying. This left towns and school districts scrambling to fill a budget gap. The towns passed the burden onto Suffolk County, which moved to put a lien on LIPA’s properties, places like substations and electrical line easements.

But last week a lower court judge ordered that LIPA wasn’t exempt because it failed to challenge the tax assessments. LIPA said it will appeal the decision.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.