The Northern Westchester Examiner

Hen Hud, Municipalities Reach New Financial Pact with Entergy

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The Hendrick Hudson Board of Education last week unanimously approved a new 10-year financial agreement between the district, several municipal entities and Entergy, owners of the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan, regarding Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT).

The pact, which includes the Town of Cortlandt, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Buchanan Fire Department and Westchester County, encompasses school years 2015-16 to 2024-25. The school district will receive 80.75% of the payments, starting in the 2015-16 school year, which will total more than $23 million.

Annual increases in the PILOT payments will fluctuate according to the state tax levy cap and regulations

“This was a very engaging and professional process, working with Entergy,” said Hen Hud Superintendent of Schools Joseph Hochreiter. “We negotiated at a time of great unease and uncertainty regarding Entergy’s relicense, political influences and regional advocacy.”

For the current school year, PILOT payments from Entergy and other local businesses were budgeted at just under $24.5 million, or approximately 33% of the projected revenues. Other sources of income are tax levy (56%), State Aid (7%), Fund Balance Transfers (2%) and Other Sources (2%).

“The reality is Entergy’s PILOT payments allow us to have among the lowest property taxes in the county,” Hochreiter said. “There is a direct relationship between Entergy’s PILOT payments and our ability as a district to keep taxes low for homeowners.”

In the event of a permanent shutdown, or damage or destruction to the Indian Point facility on the Hudson River, all parties have the option to cancel the agreement. If the agreement is cancelled, the plants will return to the tax roll. If the agreement continues after a closure, PILOT payments will see a reduction of 30% the first year, 60% the second year and 90% the third year.

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