Town Supervisor Kelly Myers said Wednesday she will not sign an amended payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the Birches at Saugerties housing complex that reduces the amount of money owed to the municipality by more than half.But that's not what her fellow town board members are saying. They think she's gone off the deep end:
Myers said it would be illegal for her to sign the amended payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreement because the town would essentially be giving back $80,000 in already-budgeted revenue. The town would have to find another way to raise that money, which would put it over the state’s 2 percent property tax cap limit, she said. Myers said the Town Board would have to pass a local law to override the tax cap.
“I was in shock,” Councilman James Bruno said. “I couldn’t believe what she was saying.” He added that Myers never told him, her deputy supervisor, that she planned to address the Town Board.You know what this is? Yet another example of a GOP leader saying that he or she doesn't like the results of the democratic process. I liken it to the game of chicken the GOP played in congress last year when they refused to raise the debt limit. Congress had already legally appropriated the funds, but Boehner and the nihilists in his caucus decided that hurting our credit rating would be a good way to damage the president and prevent his reelection. How's that working out, guys?
Town Board members Bruce Leighton and Fred Costello said they felt Myers was grandstanding by refusing to sign the agreement. Bruno and Leighton also said Myers’ refusal to carry out the will of the majority of the Town Board sets a bad precedent, while Costello said her refusal to sign the deal is a failure in leadership.
Anyway, in the case of Skate Time 209, the main reason for the PILOT was because the principals claimed it would create jobs and economic activity. That hasn't happened. Senior housing, on the other hand, is a totally different animal that should be measured by the quality of the product. And unless we come up with a new system to provide quality housing to the aged and infirm, this is the system we have.
Myers doesn't have a leg to stand on. You can't simply subvert a 4-1 vote by the town board.