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Residents and Senator Skoufis Tell Medline “Pay Your Damn Taxes”

Residents and Senator Skoufis Tell Medline “PAY YOUR DAMN TAXES”

Residents throughout Orange County have been objecting to so-called “PILOT” programs, in which a company that wants to open a new site in a town will offer a down payment and significant reduction in payment of taxes for a period usually lasting from 5 to 20 years.  The particulars are negotiable, but the biggest selling factor for the large companies has been a promise of new job creation.  However, in many cases there are employees that follow the company from a previous location and they get first choice of many of the jobs, or the jobs offered are very low-paying, or the company stays at the new location as long as they have the large tax breaks, and then they move to a new location oftentimes asking for yet a new PILOT agreement.  The New York State Comptroller’s Office has over recent years complained that the actual new jobs provided are not providing fair offset, and they plan to look into IDA functioning.

There are of course exceptions, companies that offer significant payments at the beginning, provide good jobs, and become good community members.  With proper design of the PILOT agreement there is a scaled tax relief, so that as the years go by the local residents get an ever increasing break on their property taxes.  Towns and villages that do not have significant business tend to suffer with ever increasing taxes if there are not “good rateable alternatives”.

Residents of Montgomery came out in force earlier this week, objecting to a request from Medline, a medical supply company asking the county’s IDA (Industrial Development Agency) which makes decisions on PILOT agreements to entice new business, to give them a PILOT agreement.  The not so popular icing on the cake was that Medline had a PILOT agreement at their Waywayanda  location, decided to close it, and courted several other towns in the area to start over….new site, new building, new PILOT agreement. The company’s home base is in Northfield, Illinois and has locations in 20 countries.

PILOT agreements are a critical component of the conflict between business growth that can continue to allow residential areas in Orange County to prosper, or conversely to make Orange County a place that is too expensive to live.

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