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ACR PILOT could affect county tax cap

November 29, 2011
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

MALONE - A proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan for the Adirondack Club and Resort development project could mean that Franklin County might have an even harder time putting together a budget next year.

The state imposed a 2 percent tax cap on local governments this year, but there are some calculations that make allowances for changes to that number. For the most part, the calculations are increasing the cap a bit, but in some cases, they could decrease it.

County Manager Thomas Leitz is estimating that the real tax cap for Franklin County in 2012 is about 3.23 percent, though he can't get confirmation on that number from the state Comptroller's Office.

But the way PILOTS are budgeted, they could take away the county's ability to levy taxes, Leitz said Monday in a final work session on the county's 2012 budget.

PILOTs are a different area of the budget, listed as revenue rather than property tax, Leitz said. Because of that, it's possible that the county would be even more restricted in budgeting for 2013.

"So, in theory, a PILOT could actually drive the county's levy to the negative range," Leitz said. "Some counties are seeing that where their IDAs have done large PILOTs and their tax cap is negative 2 percent.

"That could well occur in the future."

ACR developers have proposed taking out about $36 million in IDA bonds in four phases over the 15-year project buildout.

The project is in the final stages of approval from the state Adirondack Park Agency, and once that is secured, developers plan to work out the final PILOT details with the IDA and the local governments that would be affected by it.



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