PLATTSBURGH — In addition to being against the structure of a proposed payment in lieu of taxes agreement for the Durkee Street development, the City of Plattsburgh School District is also opposed to a PILOT deal for the Vilas Home LLC.
A potential new owner of the Vilas Home, a residential adult home, is seeking a PILOT for the operation at the corner of Beekman and Cornelia Streets, citing plans to renovate and possibly expand.
The business had been tax exempt, but the City School District challenged their status several years ago and won.
The school district said in a letter to the County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency that they are opposed to a Vilas PILOT for many reasons.
“PILOT agreements should be reserved for projects which expand economic activity, preferably through the introduction of new employment opportunities or economic advantages,” the letter, penned by Superintendent Jay Lebrun, read.
“We understand, through a very informative presentation previously made by Ms. (Renee, IDA executive director) McFarlin, that job-creation need not be the only criteria, and that such projects are adjudicated by the CCIDA on a more holistic basis. Nonetheless, the Vilas PILOT fails to meet any reasonable test of merits in the eyes of the Board of Education.”
The letter went on to say, “The Vilas Home is an existing, fully-operational enterprise. The currently-proposed PILOT will not expand the employment base in the region, nor create any new economic activity... the concept of a PILOT for an existing business to continue its current scope of operation should in no way justify the abatement of said business’ real property taxes, and the resultant concentration of the tax burden on the balance of the jurisdiction’s taxpayers.”
Lebrun finished the latter with: “To be clear, the Board of Education of the Plattsburgh City School District views the Vilas Home as a wonderful historic edifice, and an important local resource for those who choose to and have the means to become residents.
But we oppose this PILOT proposal, and believe that it represents an unjust concentration of the tax burden on the balance of our taxpaying constituents.”
A public hearing on the Vilas Pilot was held on July 23, and the IDA board is scheduled to meet and discuss the matter at their Aug. 12 meeting.
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