As a measure to promote the installation of clean energy sources, the New York State legislature adopted Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) §487 that exempts the value of a solar panel system from local property taxes ("eligible solar facilities"). Under the law, any increase in the property value attributable to the addition of the solar panel system is exempt from property tax. The law does allow any taxing jurisdiction (town, school, etc.) to “opt-out” of the tax exemption by adopting a local law or resolution, making the added value of a solar panel system fully taxable. Alternatively, a taxing jurisdiction that does not opt-out can require a solar developer to pay an annual fee or payment- in-lieu of taxes (PILOT) as a replacement for the taxes it would have otherwise collected. Erie County has not opted-out of RPTL §487.
Adapted from the NYSERDA Solar Guidebook (May 2022).
Process and Contact Information
Developers intending to construct eligible solar facilities in Erie County must notify the Department of Environment and Planning (DEP) of their intent to do so by mail.
Hard copies must be mailed to:
- Attn: Sarah Gatti
Erie County Department and Environment and Planning
95 Franklin Street, Tenth Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202
Pursuant to RPTL §487(9)(a), DEP will notify the developer of the County's intent to require a PILOT agreement within sixty days of receiving the letter of intent.
Contact Sarah Gatti at email@example.com