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Saratoga County to get $3.7M payout

Money part of five-county deal with Hudson River-Black River Regulating District

— “We went after their assessment of the counties and this is something that’s dragged out for a long time,” said Moore.

During the process, Saratoga County has been paying the town and school district taxes the regulating district was supposed to be paying since 2010. The regulating district stopped paying taxes when the lawsuit was filed. That amounted to $3.7 million over three years.

“There has been a lot of pressure to settle this case,” said Moore. “They are in arrears and the counties are hurting. We never agreed to the principal that they could assess us.”

Moore said the case has been dragged out for a long time, but one thing accomplished was to get the district to agree the state was also a beneficiary, so the state now has a portion of the assessment.

Under the settlement, the district will receive a total of $3.5 million to settle the last three years of unpaid assessments. Albany County will pay $1.2 million; Rensselaer, $634,000; Warren County, $284,000; and Washington County, $161,000.

Moore said the reason Saratoga County was getting $3.7 million credit was because of the pressures on the district to pay its taxes. Moore said Saratoga County’s policy is to make the schools and towns whole. When the schools and towns were not paid taxes, the county paid them on their behalf.

“At the end of the day, HRBRRD essentially owes all those taxes,” he said.

As a result of the settlement, Saratoga County will pay its portion of the settlement by credit. Going forward, Saratoga County’s payment will be a little more than $1 million for its portion of the settlement, but because of the credit, they will not be paying for the first three years.

“The regulating district now has operating revenue that they can use to stay in business and they can start to pay off their taxes to the towns,” said Moore.

Moore also said Saratoga County is in a better spot than at the beginning of the litigation because now the county only has to pay just over $1 million a year.

“That’s a lot better than paying $2 million,” said Moore. “That’s what they were initially trying to get out of us.”

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