DELAY 'Hudson Valley Kingston Development LLC' PILOT Agreement and Tax Incentives.
This petition made change with 172 supporters!
Citizens have voiced concern about a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Tax) agreement and other tax incentives currently on the table for the Hudson Valley Kingston Development (HVKD) LLC proposal in Uptown, Kingston.
According to their application, they propose to “build four boutique hotels in historic Uptown Kingston. There will be 43 hotel rooms in total, with a restaurant at the 301 Wall Street location. This will create a welcome space for community events and gatherings, and stimulate much-needed tourism and revenue for surrounding businesses.” REVIEW application
Last week, the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (UCIDA) held a public hearing on the HVKD’s application. Very few members of the public were in attendance, perhaps due to being insufficiently publicized.
Incentives are important tools in attracting and supporting business. Allocations of tax dollars in this context are governed by state law and to that end, there are real checks and balances here.
However if the public is not properly made aware of the opportunities that they have throughout the process, then only a handful of appointed officials are in a position to make decisions that will certainly extend beyond their tenure. For that reason alone, it is in everyone’s best interest for a transparent process to be a priority, that will allow citizens a better understanding and to enter into a more robust discussion.
On Wednesday, October 11th at 8:00am, the Hudson Valley Kingston Development LLC is listed in the (Draft) AGENDA #12: Projects “Hudson Valley Kingston Development (Public Hearing held on October 4, 2017)”. There isn't information listed as to whether or not the board will be making a decision regarding PILOTS or other available tax incentives for this proposal. These are open meetings, typically with a short public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, so we encourage citizens to attend. Keep in mind that the location of the meeting is very small. Arrive a little early (7:45 am) so that might have a better opportunity to get a spot in the room.
For meeting details VIEW our Facebook event page.
The County must carry on its important business for the residents of Ulster County. We also support and appreciate new business opportunities in our area. However, given the concerns of the public, we request that any approvals of tax incentives for the Hudson Valley Kingston Development LLC be delayed by the board to allow the following:
1. Provide additional public educational opportunities on the UCIDA’s process in assigning PILOTS and tax incentives to proposed projects, including, but not limited to:
a) The necessary documentation that is required as evidence that an applicant demonstrates a need for a PILOT or other tax incentives as well as to show that the applicant has exhausted all other available options based on NYSEDC recommendations.
b) Explain UCIDA’s Uniform Tax POLICY that, based on the MATRIX determines the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) hourly rates assessed as per the number of jobs it will create.
2. Assurance that the UCIDA applies recommendations to this, and all project considerations, provided by the Ulster County Comptroller from his 2014 report “A Study of the Impact and Best Practices for Industrial Development Agencies”, specifically:
- Support only Projects which likely will not proceed but for IDA assistance;
- Require market analyses for "retail" (and services) Projects;
- Calculate costs and benefits specifically attributable to IDA assistance;
- Give PILOT points only for jobs attributable to IDA assistance;
- Interpret the cost-benefit analysis with care;
- Require proof of pre-assistance employment levels;
- Maximize public access to information;
- Consider a scoring category for local support
3. The UCIDA’s follow-up procedures after tax incentives are awarded.
4. Additional public hearings to be scheduled and publicized for more public input.
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