Clarifications To Tax Law Will Ensure Farm-Based Anaerobic Digesters Qualify For Existing Agriculture Property Tax Benefits
Wyoming County Is Currently Home To Six Digesters
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announced today that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation (S 4770-A –Gallivan) to ensure that anaerobic digesters, or bio-digesters, are properly classified as agricultural facilities for property tax assessment purposes.
“The future of agriculture will be defined by high-tech innovation and the ability to apply new technologies in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Anaerobic digesters represent that future by increasing efficiency and revenue for area farms while conserving energy and reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint.” Gallivan said.
Anaerobic digesters are used on farms to convert biological waste – both animal and food – into renewable electricity; high-grade, low-odor crop fertilizer; and bedding for animal stalls.
Some interpretations of current New York State tax law caused anaerobic digesters to potentially be classified as energy production facilities, thus subjecting them to much higher property tax assessments. “This law simply ensures that anaerobic digesters will be recognized for what they are – 21st Century agricultural equipment,” remarked Gallivan.
Western New York is home to 12 anaerobic digesters, six of which are sited in Wyoming County, including the State’s largest on-farm digester located at Synergy Dairy, a 2,000-head dairy farm in Covington, Wyoming County.
“Western New York is the epicenter of New York’s dairy and yogurt industry; because of the large amounts of waste product dairy farms naturally produce, this change will be particularly beneficial to diary’s continued growth in the region,” Gallivan continued.
Livingston County will be welcoming Western New York’s newest anaerobic digester next week as ground will be broken on Thursday, August 8th for the Noblehurst Digester Project in the Town of Pavilion. Senator Gallivan will be on hand to commemorate the occasion as an invited speaker.