Schenectady County

Payment overdue on Rotterdam tax pact

Long Pond Village hasn’t paid a cent on a controversial payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement it rea


Long Pond Village hasn’t paid a cent on a controversial payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement it reached with the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency in 2007.

CW Builders, the owner of record for the sprawling 192-unit development off West Campbell Road, haven’t paid $99,878 to the Schalmont Central School District in accordance with the PILOT agreement. Schalmont Business Administrator Mark Kellett said the development’s debt now stands at $116,723, due to lateness penalties.

In addition, the company also hasn’t paid $29,110 in town taxes and $32,696 in county taxes. Both bills are due by the end of the month, according to town and county officials.

The outstanding debts prompted the Rotterdam IDA to file notice to the company. If the debt is not cleared by the agency’s meeting in April, its board members could vote to start a 30-day period, after which they could dissolve the PILOT if full payment isn’t received.

“They’ve been formally notified, but they’re not in default yet,” said Ray Gillen, the county’s commissioner of economic development and planning.

The developer apparently told county officials that they were unhappy with the assessment of the property. Last year, Rotterdam valued the 26-acre property at roughly $8.6 million —the land alone is assessed at $1.2 million.

Representatives from CW Builders could not be reached for comment Monday. However, both the town attorney and assessor said they haven’t seen any documentation to suggest the company will grieve its assessment.

“Nothing’s been filed,” assessor Craig Surprise said Monday.

Long Pond Village’s PILOT was ratified in September 2007 and the agreement took effect in January. Members of the Rotterdam IDA who helped reach the agreement indicated it was a critical component in securing the development.

Under the terms of the PILOT, the owners agreed to pay full taxes on its land, but only half on the property’s improvements. The arrangement then increases the taxable amount of the property’s improvements by 5 percent a year over the duration of the 10-year agreement.

The PILOT agreement was met with deep skepticism by some county officials, because the development didn’t create any long-term job growth for the area. Some suggested the unorthodox arrangement triggered an ongoing audit of the Rotterdam IDA by the state Comptroller’s Office.

The company is now nearing completion on the sixth and seventh apartment buildings. Both are expected to be available for rentals in June.

Meanwhile, scores of vacancies remain in the two of the other five buildings. Only two units are rented in building 4 and none in building 5, according to the development’s Web site; both buildings have 24 units.

Metroplex executive director Jayme Lahut said his authority has reached out to the financiers of Long Pond Village and alerted them of the missed payment. He said he will continue to pressure the company to fulfill its obligations in the agreement.

“There’s a lot of pressure being applied,” he told Rotterdam IDA board members during their meeting last week.

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