Developer Steve Aaron will lose a special tax break deal on a Flatbush Avenue apartment complex after failing make a back tax payment owed on the facility before a deadline set for today, officials said.Interesting that the Freeman should be on this story so quickly, isn't it? Almost as if O'Halloran went out of his way to contact the paper. And this isn't about taxes. If it were, then O'Halloran would already know that this matter is currently being litigated. Birchez thinks the city botched the assessment. It's as simple as that. This was all outlined in a letter to the editor published in the Kingston Times back in early January:
David O’Halloran, chairman of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, said he will sign documentation on Friday to “terminate” Aaron’s payment-in-lieu-of tax plan for the Birchwood Village apartment complex.
Over two years ago, Birchez asked for assistance from the IDA attorney and Lance Matteson, president of the IDA, to append, that is to have them clarify, not change, the PILOT. We asked for instructive language that the 581(a) section of the RPTL be applied to calculate the assessed value upon which the PILOT would then be determined. The statement that we “would pay no taxes” under current RPTL — attributed to IDA Chairman David O’Halloran in the article — is incorrect. In fact, prior to the initial IDA Board meetings on the issue, we had shown, in a presentation to Mr. O’Halloran, the PILOT amount Birchez legally owed.Birchez believes that the assessment is wrong, and even asked for the IDA's help. The company also tried to pay these taxes, but were rebuffed by Kingston officials:
We have made attempts to pay the amount we owe under the law. When the payments were not accepted by the city tax collector, we then deposited funds each year into an escrow account. We were not asked for a payment plan as stated in the article, nor would one be required as the monies put into escrow are double the amounts that are legally owed; the monies remain in escrow to this day. To say that our water and sewer bills with the City of Kingston are unpaid is another false statement attributed to Mr. O’Halloran. We remain current with Birchwood Village’s water and sewer bills.Follow the link above if you want to see a copy of the cancelled check.
So what's going on here? And why is the Freeman refusing to look into this matter? It boggles the mind.
What is clear is that, for whatever reason, O'Halloran has it in for Birchez. Again, O'Halloran is buddy-buddy with the Bernardos. And Len Bernardo sits on the board of Ellenville Regional Hospital, a company that will benefit from the privatization of Golden Hill -- especially if they can get Birchez out of the way and go with their own developer (cough*Jonah Mandelbaum*cough).
O'Halloran is as unprofessional and self-serving as they come. I wonder how long it will be before someone decides that his fleabag hotel should receive a visit from the health department?