Cohocton Wind Watch: Tax Assessment Lowered 60% due to Adjacent Wind Turbine Site
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Monday, August 31, 2009

Tax Assessment Lowered 60% due to Adjacent Wind Turbine Site

My house and land is in Prattsburgh, across from turbine sites for the Ecogen wind project, and my wife owns adjacent property in Naples. I've heard some people say "what's happening in the hills with the wind turbines won't affect me". What these folks may not yet realize is that, if these turbines are allowed to damage the value of adjacent properties, THEIR taxes will go up. And the first step in this one-two process has just started.

Last month, I appealed the property assessment for a 25-acre parcel owned by my wife in Naples. This property is located close to Ecogen turbine sites, across the line in Steuben County. This appeal for a lower assessment was based upon a re-appraisal, which considered the proximity of the proposed wind turbines, impact on the selling price of comparable properties across from turbine sites in Cohocton, and our resulting inability to build on the property. Last week the Naples assessor lowered the assessment by 60%.

Why did we get 60% lopped off our tax bill? The reason is starkly clear: the value was sucked out of the property. When wind turbines are built and sited near this property, the land will be bathed in constant industrial noise. It is not only unwise to build there, it would be virtually impossible for any sensible bank to give us a mortgage were we foolish enough to do so. I believe the Naples assessor did a fair and honest job. And while lowering taxes is good, this victory is like ashes in our mouths. What do we really want? Give us back the higher taxes, along with the ability to build on our property!

There are two issues which the citizens of Prattsburgh – and any town considering wind turbines – need to consider. Yes, adjacent non-participating landowners will be ruined, hosed by the developers big-time. The 60% lowering of our assessment is peanuts compared to what will happen to the value of homes in the shadow of noise-making, health-threatening industrial wind turbines. What the rest of our fellow property owners in town need to realize is this: they will have to help foot the bill.

Let's think it through. Assume our Town's budget stays the same. When the many negatively-impacted property and home owners have their assessments justifiably LOWERED, all the other taxpayers will have to take up the slack – and pay HIGHER taxes. Welcome to the new reality of life in Prattsburgh.

Welcome to the "benefits" of hosting a wind project with horrendous, damagingly-short setbacks. And this doesn't even begin to address an even more immediate impact on the Town – that these negatively-impacted landowners will be forced to sue their Town for the damage the Town Board majority decided to stick to us for some perverted vision of "the greater good". The only ones who make out in this mess are the developer, their foreign financiers, and whoever helped "grease the wheels of progress" – leaving Prattsburgh to sort out the damage and find a way to pay for it.

John Servo

1 Comments:

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