Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Skate Time Gets Off Easy on PILOT Delinquency

It pays to have friends in high places. When you have such friends, they let you off the hook with a wink:
The Ulster County Industrial Development Agency wants the owners of Skate Time 209 to pay more in property and school taxes than the Accord business originally agreed to because, agency officials said, the business hasn’t created all the jobs it originally proposed.

The roller skating rink is owned by Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, R-Accord, and her husband Len Bernardo.

[. . .]

On their application for tax breaks, the Bernardos indicated they would create 20 full-time jobs, but have only created nine full- and part-time jobs, a 55 percent shortfall in job creation. Under the IDA policy, the PILOT would be reduced by 27.5 percent, however, because the business has provided other benefits to the community, such as acting as a draw for tourism, that reduction was cut in half, to 14 percent. That means, if the Bernardos agree, for the remaining four years of the company’s pilot program it would receive only a 36 percent reduction in taxes as opposed to the 50 percent reduction granted the company.

The reduction translates into a roughly $8,340 increase in the amount the company would pay in lieu of property taxes.

Len Bernardo, who attended Wednesday’s board meeting, again argued that job creation was never a criteria for receiving tax breaks. He said he didn’t know whether he would agree to the reduced PILOT program.

"I don’t know what I intend to do," said Bernardo. "I’m thinking about it."
Here's to hoping that Len Bernardo digs in and fights this tyranny all the way to the highest court in the land! In the meantime, O'Halloran can revoke the PILOT completely and the Bernardos will begin paying their fair share. The Bernardos get to stand on principle, and the rest of us will no longer have to subsidize the their floundering business. Sounds like a win-win.

1 comment:

  1. The Bernardo's have no morals. O'Holligan will run and hide covering up for the thieves Bernardos are. They must really have something to hang over his head maybe he was caught fooling around on his wife since its her family maney that would really hurt his lifestyle