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Wheatfield approves 15-year tax deal for solar power project

The Wheatfield Town Board unanimously approved a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with a solar power developer Monday.

The annual payment starts at about $20,000 a year and will increase 1.5 percent a year to $25,000 in the 15th year, Town Attorney Matthew E. Brooks said.

Councilman Larry L. Helwig said that without the deal the town would have received nothing from Borrego Solar Systems, which will lease 30 acres on Lockport Road from David and Dennis Jakubaszek to install a 6.3-megawatt solar farm.

State law exempts commercial solar projects from property taxes for 15 years unless taxing jurisdictions opt out, Brooks said. The deal doesn't apply to school or county taxes, which Borrego won't have to pay.

The company now needs only a town building permit to begin construction, Brooks said.

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