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Decades old contract means $1.5 M deficit tomorrow

18 percent tax hike would make up for expiration of Selkirk Cogen agreement

The Selkirk Cogeneration natural gas plant.

The Selkirk Cogeneration natural gas plant. Photo by Spotlight Staff.

— The town is set to see revenues decrease by $1.5 to $1.7 million starting in 2013, according to Kidera. Cohen said depending on the assessment, the company will likely pay a little less and the distribution of the funds will change.

“This agreement is unique in that the county was cut out of the original agreement, so the town receives the county’s share and the split with the school benefits the town,” he said.

Under the PILOT, 60 percent of each payment goes to the town and 40 percent goes to the school district. All special district payments like water and sewer are paid separately. When Selkirk Cogen is placed back on the tax roll, 80 percent of all property taxes will go toward the RCS School District, and the town and the county, the special districts will need to split up the remaining 20 percent.

To make up for the loss of revenue entirely with taxes would potentially mean an 18 percent tax levy increase. Since the revenue shift is attached to a PILOT agreement, that tax hike would not be counted under the state property tax cap.

“The budget advisory team is looking at every avenue to find some sort of savings and every nickel will be applied to offset this loss,” said Cohen. “We’ve been turning over rocks each year to try to find as much money to offset these problems as possible.”

The Committee will continue to meet throughout the budget process.

“Essentially it's not good news but we feel the only responsible thing is to share it with the (community) openly,” said Supervisor John Clarkson of the presentation.

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