Based on the information provided in the Benjamin Center study, which was done when the PILOT offer from Galvan was $77,000 in the first year, only the PILOT for a RUPCO project in Newburgh approached that amount.
Galvan may now be offering a PILOT that is "one of the most generous" in the Hudson Valley, but how does this building's proposed contribution to the commonweal compare with what homeowners and other residential property owners are paying in property taxes. Some Hudson taxpayers--Mary Ann Gazzola, Linda Mussmann, and Steve Dunn--decided to find out. Today, they sent an email sharing their findings to members of the Common Council and also sent the information to Gossips. The following is quoted from that email:
A group of us worked to find an average of what the combined city, county and school tax bills were for Hudson's living units. We used the tax categories for 1, 2, 3 family and apartment buildings for comparison. We left off the commercial/residential categories as most of Galvan's proposed project is residential. (FYI, adding those combination units would have undoubtedly made the per-unit number even higher, since many of those are on highly-taxed Warren Street.) . . . The short answer is: the average number is $5,366 per living unit of combined taxes paid in the city.At $1,299 a unit, the building, with the proposed PILOT, will start out paying about a quarter (24 percent) of what the average tax payment is for every other household, or living unit, in the city, and the disparity can be expected only to increase over time. One thing the research by this group points out, which is often overlooked in discussions of PILOTs, is that the assessment on the property does not change for the duration of the PILOT. That should resonate with the many property owners who saw their assessments double or triple in last year's reval.
The group makes these recommendations:
- If Galvan (or anyone else doing housing in the future) is going to pay a PILOT, it should be at the same rate as the median unit is paying.
- It should also increase by the same amount that a taxpayer's bill is increasing each year--3%, 4%, whatever it turns out to be.
- A PILOT should be for no longer than 20 years, since no other taxpayers are guaranteed a freeze on their assessments even for that long.
- This number ($5,366) can be used for any new projects going forward, and for renegotiating PILOTs on existing residential apartments as they request extensions: Hudson Terrace, Providence/Schuyler, HHA etc. This number and annual increases will hold true until the next reval and can be updated easily in a few minutes.
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