PILOTs pave way for growth

51 tax agreements countywide bring in about $9.2M in taxes

— Koetzle pointed to Target, which recently opened its doors in Glenville. The PILOT doesn’t kick in until next year, and Koetzle argued the town is “getting no more revenue in the short run” on the project. He acknowledged the town would realize more revenue in the future but said in the meantime, residents are left to bear the burden.

“That is one example where you wonder what positive impact that is having on the community,” Koetzle said. “Is it worth shifting that burden to the residents to get that commercial project in your community?”

Previously, Koetzle said a benefit of Target opening is making the town center more attractive for other businesses to move into the area. He also said Metroplex has done a “good job” attracting businesses through PILOT offerings.

Koetzle said towns should have the power to override such agreements. Gillen said Metroplex works closely with town officials before approving a PILOT.

“When we do them they are done with the full cooperation of the tax jurisdictions that are impacted by it,” Gillen said. “These PILOTs are not imposed unilaterally on communities, it is a joint effort with them to bring more tax base and jobs into the community.”

Gillen argued the agreements aren’t hurting residents because the properties were generating little revenue before being redeveloped. He believes with every PILOT the payment was more than what revenue it had yielded.

“It is a way to kind of gradually put these projects onto the tax rolls at full value,” Gillen said.

The county’s townships don’t see equal play from PILOT projects. Rotterdam has the most PILOT agreements at 14, totaling nearly $2.1 in property tax revenue. Niskayuna has six PILOTs yielding around $1.37 million and Glenville has four totaling $630,000.

Elmer Bertsch, a Niskayuna resident, recently complained at a Town Board meeting that Metroplex doesn’t release figures on what the full taxable value of its PILOT projects would be.

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