Since the Fall of 2018, representatives from the Wayne County Board of Supervisors, the Town of Ontario, the Wayne Central School District, and Exelon (Ginna Nuclear Power Plant) have been negotiating a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement. This agreement coincides with Local Law #5, established on July 22, 2019 by the Town of Ontario, which grants the property tax exemption. With each entity signing off on the agreement over the summer, the new PILOT is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020 and continue until December 31, 2029. With the final signature coming on July 22, 2019 at the Ontario Town Board meeting, the payments are secure for another 10 years.
According to the agreement, the Town will receive 12%, the School District will receive 63.5%, and the County will receive 24.5% of the revenue for a total of $51.5 million. The payments will decrease over time in a “step down” manner as explained by Katherine Gavett from Ferrara Fiorenza PC at the Ontario Town Board meeting on July 22.
Gavett represented the Town, School, and County during the negotiations and explained to the Board that the agreement was based on the ability of the plant to produce a stable payment stream, and not the property value, since the value of the plant will depreciate over time.