The village board received two letters from National Grid asking for a total of $36,000 for overpayment of the utility gross receipts tax from 2005 through 2008. In the letter, National Grid claims they mistakenly paid the tax on services that did not originate within the boundaries of the municipality.
"We've contacted our attorney, [The New York Conference of Mayors] and the Public Service Commission, said Canastota clerk/treasurer Catherine Williams at the board meeting held Jan. 5. "They said, don't do anything now."
In an email sent to Williams, Peter A. Baynes, NYCOM executive director stated several of NYCOM's member cities and villages have reached out to them about letters received from National Grid stating the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation overpaid a portion of its local GRT and are owed a refund and interest.
The email went on to read that NYCOM had reached out to the Public Service Commission and have been told they, too have had similar calls and are looking into the matter.
NYCOM, with the assistance of the PSC will try to verify National Grid's claim and for how long a period and determine if it has the right to retroactively amend its GRT returns and demand a refund. If a refund can be demanded then they will determine whether interest can be charged and what rate should be used.
According to Williams, National Grid collects a utility tax from all its customers in a municipality. State law reads that each municipality is entitled 1 percent of its total gross revenue as long as a local law is enacted. The village's local law went into effect many years ago.
Public hearing scheduled
A public hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 21 at 7:15 p.m. regarding the Local Law to allow adult day care facilities in R2 (residential) and RM (residential-manufacturing) zoning districts. The board will hear comments from the public at that time.