Riverhead Town can either seek a $6 million “bridge loan” or seek a waiver from the state’s two-percent tax cap law — two options the town is considering in light of a potential 12.5 percent tax hike for 2015, Supervisor Sean Walter said at Thursday’s Town Board work session.
The town has been applying about $4 million in surplus funds each year to reduce taxes. But that money is running out, and the town figures to only have between $1 million and $2 million left by the end of this year, according to town finance administrator Bill Rothaar. Mr. Walter said that if the town tried cutting $4 million in spending, it would have to eliminate about 60 jobs, which he opposes.
The board also discussed a proposal to “opt out” of a state law that allows solar projects to apply for 15-year tax exemptions. Officials also said they feel that only residential solar projects meant to reduce a homeowners utility costs should be eligible for tax exemptions. Solar projects on commercial buildings or projects that intend to sell energy back to LIPA should be taxed, officials said.
To read about what else was discussed at the work session, click below to see a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog.