Senator Carl L. Marcellino today announced Senate passage of S.614 which would require businesses to contact local governments and school districts if they intend to change their payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).
"This bill is intended to provide protection to our hardworking, overburdened taxpayers from unfair property tax spikes caused by businesses changing their PILOT payments without telling school districts and municipalities. PILOTs are intended to provide incentives for businesses to locate in our communities and become our partner. If they want to change their PILOT payment, it is only fair that they let the organizations which rely on that funding know their intentions," said Senator Marcellino.
Marcellino’s legislation was a result of a local incident where a business changed its payment in lieu of taxes without notifying the school district which relied on that funding. In, 2005, the Goya Food Company filed and won a reduction in its property tax assessment. The reduction dropped the company’s payment to the Bethpage School District from $505,154 to $49,526. When the school district was notified of the change of assessment, the district had already adopted its school budget and set its tax rate.
"It’s no secret that school districts and localities operate on tight margins and fixed budgets. A dramatic loss of anticipated revenue can cause a crisis for a municipality or a school. Who has to make up the difference? It’s very simple, it’s you and I the local property taxpayer. My bill doesn’t stop anyone from trying to reduce PILOT payments, it only makes business inform governments and schools that they are going to try and do this. It’s a matter of fairness," continued Senator Marcellino.
"New York State is built on a strong partnership between business and government. We are committed to working together. However, when one of the partners wants to change part of the deal, they should let the other half of the partnership know," concluded Senator Marcellino.