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.