TODAY'S PAPER
41° Good Morning
41° Good Morning
Opinion

Quiet before the storm

The LIPA Power Plant in Northport on July

The LIPA Power Plant in Northport on July 1, 2019. Credit: Newsday/John Keating

Daily Point

Sparks could fly at tonight's LIPA meeting

Most of the public outcry over LIPA’s attempts to get the property taxes on its power plants reduced is concentrated in the Town of Huntington and the Northport-East Northport school district, because the Northport Power Plant contributes about $84 million a year in local taxes. 

But Wednesday night the focus moves to Nassau County with a 7 p.m. meeting at the Island Park Lincoln Orens Middle School. LIPA Chairman Tom Falcone and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran are scheduled to explain a negotiated settlement on taxes.

Under a deal that still needs the approval of the county legislature, LIPA’s payments on the two Nassau plants, E.F Barrett and Glenwood Landing, would be gradually reduced from $65 million annually to $32.5 million annually over seven years. The agreement would end the threat of a court judgment that would potentially expose Nassau County to paying a refund of several hundred million dollars while giving the Island Park, North Shore and Oceanside school districts a predictable flow of revenue. But the reduction in taxes paid by LIPA is likely to result in tax hikes on property owners over time.

But those hikes won’t be as severe as what Northport-East Northport school district residents would pay if Huntington settles. And they’re nothing compared to the hikes that will come in Huntington if LIPA wins its ongoing court case, triggering a massive immediate cut in LIPA’s taxes and a bill for the Town of Huntington of as much as $700 million.

That’s why the folks fighting a settlement for the Northport plant don’t want the Nassau communities to reach a deal with LIPA, as Brookhaven did earlier with the Port Jefferson plant. The calculations in the other two settlements severely weaken Huntington’s case. 

Paul Darrigo, the founder of Facebook group Concerned Taxpayers Against LIPA and a leader of the fight against a settlement in Huntington, is calling online for a big and vocal anti-LIPA turnout at Wednesday’s meeting.

Tuesday he posted a note on the group’s Facebook page highlighting a 1997 letter he argues is a binding promise by LIPA to never challenge the assessments on the power plants. The judge hearing the assessment case has rejected it as a determining factor in the case. 

He is warning Island Park residents not to settle. “Tomorrow I will share with you the estimate of the impact on the average taxpayer if the people in MY community accept LIPA's settlement offer. I can't say it will be the same as the impact on you but I believe it will be close.

RESIST!”

This is a meeting that could be quite electric, indeed.

—Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

Time is relative

National audiences got a hint of what Albany incumbency looks like during House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment announcement Wednesday morning. 

Pelosi introduced the House’s seven impeachment managers who will act as prosecutors of the president in the Senate. The first of two New Yorkers mentioned was Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary committee who was elected to Congress in 1992 and represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Then Pelosi paused to discuss his priors.

“Before Congress, Mr. Nadler served in the New York State Assembly for 16 years," she remarked, turning to Nadler with a smile. “Wow.”

It may sound like a lot to those unfamiliar with the undying and relatively unchanging ways of the New York Capitol. But compared with people like Manhattan Assemb. Dick Gottfried (first elected 1970) or only-now-outgoing Port Jefferson Sen. Ken LaValle (elected 1976), Nadler was a pup. 

And forget about Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the up-and-coming Brooklyn member also among the impeachment managers. His six-year stint in the Assembly was hardly long enough to learn about the parking spots.

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

No diversity

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/opinion

Final Point

Who said it? Day 6

2020 Democratic contender books series Part 6: An example of the candidate’s morals, but who is who? See previous answers and questions here. Hint: not all were on the debate stage in Des Moines Tuesday night.

  1. This candidate’s home was often opened to friends and relatives in need, but the house was a formal place. When the candidate’s cousin brought a guy she had just met on the subway back to the candidate’s home, the cousin was told that the “proper way to introduce a new friend to the house” was “over Sunday supper, thank you very much.”
  2. This candidate’s grandparents sent a note in 1965 for the candidate’s first birthday, 15 years after they arrived in America after surviving the Holocaust. “The ancient Greeks gave the world the high ideals of democracy, in search of which your dear mother and we came to the hospitable shores of beautiful America in 1950. We have been happy here ever since.”
  3. “[T]he struggle with grief and pain is an individual event, no matter how many friends and supporters a person can count … But I really believed that just being there, offering my physical presence, letting them see me, still standing, might make a difference to them.” 

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Columns